The last time we spoke with Toronto-based musician Tamara Lindeman, perhaps better known as The Weather Station, was just over two years ago. Lindeman was in the middle of extensively touring her third LP, Loyalty, and preparing to play her second show at Johnny Brenda’s in a sixth month span. Well, she’s back at her non-stop touring, and preparing to play Johnny Brenda’s this Friday, April 6th, after having hit up Boot & Saddle just last November.
For those of you who missed last November’s show, The Weather Station’s upcoming gig at Johnny Brenda’s is likely to be quite a bit different from her 2015 and 2016 stops at our favorite Fishtown bar. While Loyalty was on the softer side (I described it as, “a delicate (and somewhat experimental) blend of classic folk songwriting with the same slightly dark sentiment of contemporaries like Jenny Hval and Sharon Van Etten.”), her fourth and self-titled LP, released last October, was her first attempt at making a Rock’N’Roll record, but without giving up her own, personal aesthetic. And unlike her previous two albums, Lindeman produced this one all on her own. In a recent chat she tells me that doing everything by herself was very satisfying, but that her latest sounds are very inspired by her years on the road, touring her last album.
“Making this record was a real highlight. I let myself make all the decisions and was really self-indulgent with a lot of this record. It’s been really fun [laughs]. It’s an evolution. In touring Loyalty, everything was about subtlety and nuance and live it was about taking these spaces that aren’t made for that and trying to make them for that. This time around, I think we have more colors in our palette. It’s loud and people dance sometimes [laughs]. We’ve just been playing together so much, so many shows, so we’re as tight as can be. We’re in a really nice place of openness and spontaneity, where you can kind of read the other people.”
I ask Lindeman about some of her best experiences since her latest album dropped and she tells me that it’s basically been all about touring, but implies that that’s certainly not a bad thing.
“I’ve been kind of touring since October really. I mean, we’ll come home for a day or a week, but then we’re right back out there. We played some really great shows in Britain. And in Canada there’s this thing where people underestimate me and we ended up selling out all the venues and had to add additional shows, which was a really great feeling [laughs].”
She also tells me that the intimate experiences that she’s fortunate enough to get to have with fans before and after shows are often just as significant as the shows themselves: “It’s always really special when people come up to me at the merch table and tell me they had an emotional reaction to it or they cry, because then I think of all the albums that did that for me.”
At the moment The Weather Station have dates booked through early September, which will take Lindeman and her crew through the US and to Europe and Australia. I ask her if there are any places she’s most excited about and she tells me she’s definitely expecting Sweden, Norway, and Denmark to be some of the highlights
“I love those places. I’ve been there once before and it feels like home, like the landscape is like home. It’s like Canada, if we had really good public transportation. When I’m in Denmark, walking through the streets, I’m like, ‘What is this fantasy world?”
However, Lindeman also tells me that she’s a huge fan of the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.
“I really love Philadelphia. One of the people who runs my label [Paradise of Bachelors] lives in Philadelphia, was born and raised there, and I just love so many artists from there, like Steve Gunn and Mary Lattimore. I mixed one of my records in Philly. I always tell people I think Philadelphia is what you think you will be getting in an American city. Philadelphia is actually what you want of an American city.”