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Cold Weather

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Album Review

While 2000's Fly Me Back expanded Brenda Weiler's acoustic sound with subtle hints of mellotron and greater percussion contributions, Cold Weather is a full-on studio record. After the moody, storm and rainwater textures of opener "Faucet," Weiler returns to her acoustic troubadour roots for "Sacred" (as she does later for the seemingly live-to-tape "Weather I'm In"). However, the album's midsection consists of confident, tightly-arranged adult alternative folk-pop in the vein of Jonatha Brooke or Patty Griffin. The little silences of "Scatter" are broken by fuzzy electric guitar squelch, and Weiler is joined by a group of male voices on the chorus. "California" ups the harmony ante and also brings in more of that robust electric guitar accompaniment, but its oddly mechanistic drums and Weiler's own detached vocal performance give the track a faraway feel. It's much easier to sink into soft guitar and lullaby melody of "Out of the Blue," or the slight alt-country lilt of "Medicine." Weiler also duets with Darren Jackson (aka Kid Dakota) on his "Honolulu, Minnesota"; its pretty melody is tinged with the longing and sadness of separated lovers. No matter what the instruments on Cold Weather are doing, it's Weiler's ethereal voice — somewhere between Emmylou Harris and Susanna Hoffs, maybe? — that really sells the material. That, and her delivery, which punctuates words and phrases with a slight pinch and lets lines linger for a subtle, yet powerful effect. Cold Weather — it's folk or it's pop — but most of all it keeps the small details in mind.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Brenda Weiler started taking an interest in music when she was at the age of ten after getting an ear full of Tracy Chapman and Paul Simon. Picking up the guitar not too long afterwards, Weiler started playing out her brand of sentimental folk to her native of Moorhead, MN, while still attending high school. Accompanied by her lyrical dealings of personal relationships and self-identity, Weiler would eventually capture this emotion on her...
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Cold Weather, Brenda Weiler
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