The Weather Station‘s fourth (and self-titled) album was a constant companion for me in 2017, in no small part for the song that opens the band’s Tiny Desk performance. It’s called “Thirty” and in less than four minutes and nearly 400 words, singer Tamara Linderman paints images of joy intertwined with the awaking jolt of turning thirty.

 

The dollar was down
But my friends opened businesses
There were new children
And again, I didn’t get married
I wasn’t close to my family
And my dad was raising a child in Nairobi
She was three now, he told me

 

The musicians in The Weather Station underpin these words with delicate playing and by sitting quietly but poigntantly under Tamara Linderman’s beautiful voice. Her soft voice shifts pitch with a rapid flow in a Joni Mitchell-sort of way, never coming up in volume more than a quiet, table conversation level.

On “Free,” a song Tamara Linderman describes as about being both free and not free at the same time, there’s restraint in the voice and a release in the powerful guitar chords. That tension and release is an essential element to The Weather Station’s sound and one of the joys I’ve found listening to their enchanting music.

Set List

 

 

“Thirty”

 

 

“You and I (On the Other Side of the World)”

 

 

“Free”

 

 

Musicians

Tamara Lindeman (guitar, vocals), Ben Whiteley (bass), Ian Kehoe (drums), William Kidman (guitar)

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Alyse Young; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR

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