Reviewed by: Ziggy Merritt
A pleasant mish-mash of the mainstream and indie. While this distinction is becoming increasingly arbitrary, it’s how you might describe Ryn Weaver along with any number of songwriters within the same vein, including Lana Del Rey or Charli XCX who in fact had a hand in co-writing last summer’s hit, “OctaHate” alongside Weaver and producer Benny Blanco. Here on her debut, The Fool, Weaver of course brings back that same single but gives us so much more in return.
Much of the content here will be familiar territory for fans of Weaver, especially if they listened to her Promises EP released toward the end of summer last year. For most this will be retread of that same EP with a few more cosmic additions to the lineup. I say cosmic here to highlight her predilection toward extrasolar lyricism particularly in the acoustic track new to this album, “Traveling Song”: “Then he told me that I was Apollo 13/On the very last day, he said/Shoot for your dreams, little girl, to the stars.”
Such inventive lyricism remains one of the most distinctive qualities of her repertoire, which while occasionally heavy on the synth, is sincere and telling of romances requited and unrequited. For most of this album Weaver does well to rely on her vocal chops to drive these storytelling trysts rather than the heavy production present within the middle bit of the album -”Stay Low”, “Sail On”, and “The Fool” in particular- and her range and staccato flourishes put her in a class of her own making.
Her previous success with “Promises” and the more avant-garde but hit-making production on “OctaHate” do well to catapult this debut into something more than a similarly-styled indie pop debut. There’s something a touch more soulful and fresh. If not the quick-witted lyricism than the vocals will do their best to find you wandering through the stars with Weaver throughout the 11-track debut.