Ryn Weaver - The Fool  [Album]
Interscope Records / Deluxe Edition / CD
FLAC / Lossless / PERFECT
MP3 / V0 (VBR) / C4
Ryn Weaver shows off at the close of "Traveling Song," a folky, waltzing farewell, possibly an elegy, that arrives near the end of her debut album, "The Fool." The backup drops away, and she keeps singing, a cappella and not obviously processed, about a man "who taught me to love like a beast and feast like the queen that he fed turtle soup," she sings. "He said: ‘Shoot for your dreams, little girl. To the stars!' " It's ardent, musically confident and openly careerist; it also shows her willingness to be odd. Turtle soup?
Ms. Weaver appeared suddenly on SoundCloud last June with "OctaHate," a song with a plinking loop (possibly marimba); a suddenly pounding chorus declaring, "I can't take it!"; and lyrics that treat betrayal and a breakup as emotional and geological cataclysms: a landslide, an earthquake. It has since been played almost 3.7 million times on SoundCloud alone and eight million times on Spotify.
Ms. Weaver, whose real name is Aryn Wüthrich, was unknown, but her songwriting partners weren't. They are her two collaborators throughout "The Fool," supplying nearly all the instruments and programming — the producer Benny Blanco (who has made hits with Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Rihanna) and Michael Angelakos, the songwriter who leads Passion Pit — along with Charli XCX (whose Twitter following helped build the groundswell for "OctaHate") and the Norwegian D.J. Cashmere Cat.
These professionals didn't shape a standard-issue pop flirt. Instead, they forged a blend of 21st-century pop science and 1970s intuition and experiment. There's a lot of Stevie Nicks in Ms. Weaver: a promising commercial strategy, particularly since "The Fool" arrives between albums by Haim, which has flourished with its own Fleetwood Mac update. Ms. Weaver's voice takes on some of Ms. Nicks's particular smoky quaver as her fervor rises toward her choruses. She also has Ms. Nicks's fondness for myth and extended (and sometimes mixed) metaphors, flaunting them in songs like "The Fool": "So I curse my stars for a fair game/While you nurse my scars and the old flame."
Fleetwood Mac's trotting beats and intricate vocal harmonies also appear in many songs, bolstered by post-1970s effects: digital stutters, four-on-the-floor beats, the glossy reverb of trance and a fondness for stray noises by way of hip-hop.
Yet Ms. Weaver's lead vocals sound natural and personal, while Mr. Blanco and Mr. Angelakos build heroic crescendos for her. Her songs present her as a wild spirit following her own desires. "Child of Neptune, I'm the daughter of the sun/Keep showing me new constellations," she sings in "New Constellations," and vows, "I will run to wherever I want to go." It's a hippie dream with a digital turbocharge.
4. Stay Low
5. Sail On
6. The Fool
9. Traveling Song
10. Here Is Home
11. New Constellations