[30 March 2008]
There is something to be said for short and sweet. I’ve come across many albums this year with 16 plus tracks and a complete listen is quite the feat. Fortunately, a new band has come along and composed an album that is dripping with natural charm and conciseness. A Weather’s debut record, Cove, is endearing, affecting, and bare. Not only are the nine tracks sweet gems, but there is something beautifully intimate happening between the vanilla lines.
With simplistic phrases that dance around the other harmonies, Cove is elegantly crafted with multiple layers. Every moment comes across seemingly effortless and a large part of their debut’s success is the fluidity. Having been together for a little more than a year, the band’s finished effect is impressively succinct. When asked how the group develops ideas, they explained it was a lot more mechanical than jamming out. Aaron Gerber will put a lot of thought with the group into what parts will fit where and how, and it’s this meticulous approach that explains the precise delivery displayed throughout the album.
The opening track “Snakes, Spiders” introduces the record well with minimalistic drums, piano, and Winchester and Gerber’s sweet voices. As the track develops, the simple melody lines remain patient until they can finally uncurl into the chorus where all counterparts quietly crash together. This represents the allure of Cove: charming duets paired with a skeleton of simple and bewitching harmonies. “Small Potatoes” is another excellent track, but then again it’s hard to highlight just one amongst a sea of endearing compositions. It opens with Winchester airing upbeat “Do-do-dahs” that are later followed with the opposing sentiment “I can’t believe you said I couldn’t love you anymore”. This track not only showcases how perfect the two voices are together, but A Weather’s strength with intricate layering of vocals, guitars, and rhythm.
The album runs through various tempos, yet the overall disposition is soft and intimate. The components run adjacent with each other or staccato out of turn, paralleling the lyrical commentary on relationships. Pillow talk exposed, this album creates a collage of private images and feelings. “I like the sounds you make when you sleep like you’re eating a meal, grinding your teeth, or just breathing.” With confessions like this, it feels as if you are eavesdropping, or even being allowed behind closed doors. With individual parts basket-weaving throughout the tracks, it’s almost like the lovers are taking turns revealing their side of the story lyrically and musically. And A Weather doesn’t let down; the couple you are spying on are intriguing, adoring of each other, and deliciously torn.
But let’s be honest—simple can be boring. And this album makes sure to captivate on even the smallest of fragments. With delicate compositions, no moment is overworked or underwhelming. The beauty in their craft is that they are willing to expose every seam. Each part has its own spotlight, its own charisma. A Weather is something to dote on, and Cove has quickly become precious to me and worthy of listeners’ devotion.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/a-weather-cove/