Weyes Blood Credit: Kathryn Vetter Miller

Singer-songwriter Natalie Mering, who records and performs as Weyes Blood, was nine years old when Titanic hit theaters in December 1997. On Weyes Blood’s fourth album, last month’s Titanic Rising (Sub Pop), she uses the dreamlike, dramatic “Movies” to sing about how film can leave us wanting more from, or disappointed by, our own reality. Mering wields her powerful voice to create an air of serenity, and in combination with the gentle, sumptuous indie rock of Titanic Rising, it gives the album a disarming tranquility—listening to it is as immersive as watching a good movie. The music might feel escapist, except that Mering’s lyrics confront contemporary anxieties, such as fragmented relationships, global climate change, and the apathy and helplessness we can feel when faced with a crumbling world we can’t fix alone. Though she doesn’t mince words, her tone encourages listeners to approach these difficult truths with optimism. “I want people to think about the reality of what’s going on but also to feel a sense of belonging and hope and purpose,” she told Pitchfork in February. Mering knows that if there’s any hope for the kind of miraculous Hollywood ending that would save humanity from self-destruction, we’ll have to find it together—that way, even if we fail, we’ll at least have one another.   v