Ryn Weaver knows how to keep you on your toes. On her debut album, The Fool, she draws on a range of raw emotions, resulting in a series of songs in which she continually contradicts herself. She sings that she can be “broken by the breeze,” though she is also a “wild thing to tame” on “Free”. The Fool moves though various tempos and arrangements, keeping an electropop backbeat and frequently cobbling what could be two or three separate songs into one.
Weaver’s voice mostly recalls Florence Welch, though when she croons, she sounds like an amped-up Imogen Heap. Her strongest vocals come on “Traveling Song”, the most stripped down track on the album. Here, she carries a more cohesive tune without relying on electronic production. The track fades out to Weaver speak-singing a cappella, a contrast to the otherwise fast-paced album.
The full-speed-ahead intensity stems from Weaver’s ever-changing emotions and her indecisive mind. On “OctaHate”, one of the catchier tracks, she sings about being played, saying, “there’s nothing left to say.” Then she continues on for 60 more seconds, and then nine more tracks.
That ambivalence is, however, where the album’s strength lies. It’s her honesty that makes the music relatable, like when she sings of ordinary indulgences like “coffee and half a pack” on “Stay Low”. Though often veiled by thickly layered production, her contradictions are neither good nor bad — they just make her human. As Weaver confesses to common pitfalls of falling in and out of love, The Fool spins on like a series of diary entries with no end in sight, quite possibly because Weaver has yet to decide how this story ends. Though she always seems unsure, one thing sounds certain: Weaver still has more left to say.
Essential Tracks: “OctaHate”, “Traveling Song”