Front Row Seat to Earth

LA is in the midst of a musical resurgence. Artists seem to be flooding in to join its current heyday of pure pop and hazy, throwback folk. One thing cooked up recently is the newest offering from Weyes Blood (aka Natalie Mering), Front Row Seat to Earth. The recent LA transplant got her start playing with Portland experimentalists Jackie-O Motherfucker, and then landed in Brooklyn, N.Y., before heading to LA and back to her very first passion: simplified, smooth folk. The overall vibe of the album feels rooted in the 1960s. A combination of Laurel Canyon-era feel-good folk, with Mering’s voice with its classic melancholy timbre akin to Karen Carpenter, along with a few modern tonal hints tucked into the clean production. Mering’s slow, elongated vocal melodies and swaying instrumental drawls create a wide, sonic landscape of quiet, sweeping hills. The ominous space is a perfect bed for Mering’s pleasantly eerie lines, like on “Away Above,” when she sings: “I’ll bring your worst fears if you bring mine/And we can laugh over a night of red wine.”