Is music a platform for change? Tamara Lindeman on her latest record from 'The Weather Station'
Tamara Lindeman's music under the guise of "The Weather Station" is hailed as one of the most stunning indie releases of the past strange year.
"Ignorance" — an album filled with strings and horns, swooping vocals and lushness — calls out for personal and environmental justice. Lindeman recorded the album in Toronto with a large ensemble of musicians who contributed to the broad musical scope.
Lindeman joined WUNC recently for a chat about that new album, what it means and its potential impact.
This is an excerpt of an edited transcript of that conversation. You can hear the full interview by clicking the LISTEN button at the top of this post.
The title of the record — "Ignorance" — has many meanings. Did you have something specific in mind?
"I love the complexity of that word. ... I think that the thing I was thinking about the most in titling the record that was how ignorance is one of the only words in the English language that like literally means nothing — your own ignorance is a thing that the moment you see it, it ceases to become ignorance, it's like the dark matter of the mind."
It's not often a collection of sophisticated pop songs gets lauded by environmental advocates... How much power do you think music has as a platform for change?
"I don't know that it has a lot of power... I think we sometimes overstate the power of our culture. But you know, at the same time, I also would say that I absolutely believe that, what's beautiful about music is it crosses barriers, it breaks down walls. I know I just said that cultural change doesn't matter, but it does at the same time where it's like someone in your circle talking a certain way shifts how you think, and then you shift how the people around you think and it does ripple outwards."
On the cover the record, you're pictured in the woods wearing a mirror suit. How did you come up with the idea to make that garment?
"I love it. It feels like a fairy tale. When you wear it out into the natural world it just, it reflects the sky, it reflect the trees, I love that it makes me feel like the invisible man, like I'm like I'm a part of my surroundings and I just love that it's so beautiful and it really is just pieces of a mirror glued on a suit."