Mad Love/Interscope Records
The prey and predators of the ocean, cut beneath the beautiful blue tide, tied to the dark waves of the open ending and always discovering sea. The whale, the shark, the thousands of brightly colored and shimmering fish that race through the salt of the water. Then there’s the octopus, with its six arms, two legs and suction-cupped means of predatory status. It’s in this sense of mind that Ryn Weaver wrote her hit “OctaHate.” Talking with The Fader, the twenty-two-year-old singer/songwriter said she liked the idea of “hate times eight” and the premise of the predatory stance of an octopus, that it just won’t let go.
It’s a testament to the way Weaver and her co-writers pen the tunes and the producing behind the album (thanks to Benny Blanco and Passion Pit front man, Michael Angelakos) that The Fool is its own octopus status, and just won’t let you go.
The guitar-synthesized pop is the finest I’ve heard in a long time, with a dose of heavy beats and clean cut production and sound editing. The Fool at its core is fantastic storytelling in the point of view of a wanderer, looking for anything and everything among loss, love, and the desperate loneliness that comes with being young and on your own.
The Fool is not a perfect album. Even taking it apart piece by piece will leave you with no inkling as to which way Weaver may be going with her sound (it’s all over the place genre-wise) and no hint as to who she could be while sitting at the bottom of her own ocean. It’s got its own predators, with the ominous and robust opening song, “Runaway,” with the lyrics “Feet colder than the snow that choked the city / My wings too wild to clip and cage around me.” It’s a song that you hear playing in a violent scene, a climatic point in turn, the beat before a drowning love.
Then it becomes a pop album with no going back, heading into the lead single, before disappearing into the highlight of the album with “Pierre,” a song that’s as addicting as the smell of the ocean. The entire song listens like a dream, within its own quality of good. “Promises” runs in the same vein, but with this being more an anthem of self-destruction, a broken piece of young love that Weaver sings with a slip of the tongue, drunk on the floor.
When I mentioned that Weaver seems to not know which direction she’s taking with her genre, or the fact that she kind of just mixes them all together, I was being very factual. There’s a Fleetwood Mac vibe that races through “Here is Home,” and a vibrant but low murmur of vocals that reminds me of new artist Tove Lo in “Stay Low.” Then there’s “Free,” which fluctuates between being the best song on the album and being the most misplaced. Either way, with lyrics like “Just in it for the game / A wild thing to tame / But you took my hand and ran beside me,” and the build up that is every bit as beautiful as the vocal runs in Weaver’s voice, it’s worth every complaint. The namesake is borderline insanely good, and the vibrato in Weaver’s voice builds the climax and then stutters into something profoundly vulnerable. Imogen Heap would be very proud.
Weaver shines in “Traveling Song,” where there’s not only a beautiful acoustic feel, but the song takes on a tone that may remind you of the soft rocking of a hammock and the sweet foam-filled rise of the ocean against the ink black night. The a cappella at the end of the song is puzzling but delivers the most heartfelt lyrics off the whole album, while also giving you the urge to google turtle soup right after it ends. You can watch the brand new music video below.
The Fool is full of gems beneath the surface of a talent unreachable and the bottom unrecognizable to any eye but of Weaver’s, who has gifted us with an album full of memorable lyrics and crescendos. We can only hope Ryn Weaver allows us to explore and discover more among the blue.