The Weather Station :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

On her fourth album under the Weather Station banner, Toronto-based songwriter and actor Tamara Lindeman steps into a new light. Though the self-titled LP is every bit as gorgeous and engrossing as  previous triumphs  like All Of It Was Mine and Loyalty, it's looser, more enraged, and far more  restless. "I had to get so ruthless, to cut right down to the quick," she sings on "Impossible," addressing  the intentionality  that drives the new record. Though the touchstones of her sound still linger here (the haunting lilt of Fairport Convention most especially),  new reference points emerge on nervy, lyrically dense songs like "Kept It All To Myself" and the stunning "Thirty," in  which Lindeman evokes punk poets like Patti Smith and Jim Carroll, wrangling observations both personally and political into musical formation. The Weather Station's  arrangements are less delicate and its melodies more sprawling, and it finds Lindeman tossing her voice into new context, singing over locked grooves and string arrangements she wrote for the record. At times, it's as hushed as ever, but often  the album blooms with a open-hearted swagger. It's a set of songs  about defining oneself, about recognizing the changing winds that swirl around us, and dedicated to poring over the words and ideas that bind us together. It's Lindeman's most accomplished and seems to reveal more brilliance with each listen.

Aquarium Drunkard reached Lindeman at her mother's house in  Aylmer, Ontario, to discuss the record's blustery sound and the role setting plays in her songs.
  Aquarium Drunkard: I've been enthralled with The Weather Station. Does this record feel for you -- for lack of a better term -- more "punk" that your other albums?
Tamara Lindeman: Yeah, totally. [Laughs] I mean, I don’t claim to know what punk means, because people are very opinionated about that word, but totally. It was born from this very different spirit than my other records. I felt like I didn’t have the luxury of being careful like I had before. If felt necessary to just move forward and create something…you know what I mean? [Laughs]

AD:  What were some of the conditions in your life that led to that different motivation?

Tamara Lindeman: I think being older. I’m in my 30s and being a musician is a strange thing to be when you’re a woman in your 30s. There are so many things. I feel like there are too many answers to that question. I just didn’t have time to be decorous. I was bored of certain ideas and sounds and also I was touring a lot. I didn’t have a lot of peaceful time. You know, touring is crazy. It’s awesome. [You are]  thrown headlong into the world. That definitely brought out a different thing in me. And I think that the way...the world is right now makes me feel angry and reckless. I was like, "I don’t have time to be nice."

AD: You wanted to make a record that reflected less niceness and more something else. Urgency, maybe?

Tamara Lindeman: Yeah, totally. For sure.

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