The Weather Station: Five Essential Albums
As WFUV honors Women's History Month, we're also heralding a handful of "Ascending Women" musicians who are making their own history with outstanding new music. Some are making comebacks; others are at the very start of their careers. We've asked these artists to write about the "Five Essential Albums" that shaped their own path.
The critical raves that vaulted The Weather Station's breakthrough 2021 release, Ignorance, to the top of many "Best of 2021" lists (including Pitchfork and The New York Times), were gratifying, especially given the serious theme that anchored a good handful of its songs: the global climate emergency.
Toronto-based Tamara Lindeman, who has recorded as The Weather Station for over a decade backed by an ever-changing lineup, has become become as committed to climate activism as music. (She participated in WFUV News' "Disharmony" climate series last year.) The confluence of those two passions never defaults to the didactic; Lindeman is far too artful for the rookie error of pontification.
On Ignorance, she aims for the heart to make her points. Expanding her band to include a batch of talented jazz musicians she'd longed to work with for years, her expressive, cascading songs, such as "Robber," "Atlantic," or "Tried to Tell You," tell tales through the prism of what Lindeman describes as "climate grief" — or her own love-tattered perspective.
Her most recent release, 2022's How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars?, is meant to be a companion piece to Ignorance. However, unlike that album's filigree of synths and horns, her sixth album is laid out with stark simplicity. The delicate "Endless Time" or "Stars" are arresting as wounded, dreamy whispers. Lindeman recorded the entire album over just three days in mid-March 2020, joined by a few other jazz musicians, as the world swiftly shuttered to Covid. Stars is not a postscript to Ignorance, but a marvel in its own right — a gentle, grief-stricken reverie guided by piano and Lindeman's voice.
The Weather Station is back on the road for much of 2022 (including a stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 26), but before she left for Europe, Tamara send on her selections for FUV's "Five Essential Albums" — all which reflect her admiration for songwriting that speaks to nature, contemplation, and empathy.
The Weather Station's Tamara Lindeman: Five Essential Albums
The Books, The Lemon of Pink
I'd really be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the formative effect this album had on me. I heard it when I was 19, and it single-handedly convinced me that I could record and make music, and that's exactly what I did. The strange sound collage approach was actually how I first started out recording.
Judee Sill, Heart Food
A perfect record. So wonderful lyrically, so beautiful musically, so perfect in terms of arrangements.
Talk Talk, The Colour of Spring
A beautiful mind and heart-opening record, sonically, emotionally. Very grateful this record exists. It's like none other.
Jennifer Castle, Pink City
This record is timeless and beautiful. I always put it on these lists because it's a desert island record for me. And it's still criminally underheard. The words, music, and voice of Jennifer Castle has been a companion to me in the deepest of ways through my adulthood.
Broadcast, Tender Buttons
What a perfect, strange album. A reminder that all a record has to be is itself. I love its jaggedness, its softness, and its melodic perfection.
- Tamara Lindeman