Few debuts sound so assured as Weatherboy’s self-titled debut. This ten song release is a collaboration between Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Rangar Rosinkranz and Los Angeles based artist John Walquist will find favor with anyone enjoying Bon Iver, The Beach Boys, or The Beatles. Weatherboy cover many stylistic bases and their art pop leanings, replete with horns, balances quite well with their explorations through evocative post modern folk landscapes with vocals that cover a wide sonic range and ache with genuine emotion. The production handles the challenging material with great skill and never fumbles with the wide array of sounds and melodies their work explores. The album feels very constructed, but never in a way that feels overly-plotted out or belabored. Even the most cluttered songs on this album come across in a very natural way as if its just a band following their own wayward muse. Rosinkranz and Walquist have released something quite unique and viable here,
They indulge their wont for big, boisterous pop music on the first two songs and both attempts come off with real verve. These songs and later tracks alike establish Weatherboy as a duo willing to pursue any vocal approach to make their vision work and possessing the talents to pull it off. It isn’t all about high stepping pop music, however, as songs like “Riding on the Wind” and “Eva” show how good Weatherboy are at reining in their energies and focusing more on atmospherics. The first track leans more in a pop rock direction and features some vivid guitar playing courtesy of Phil Keaggy while the second skirts much deeper into acoustic folk territory. The vocals and general poise of the music on both tracks never veer off course; instead, discerning listeners will notice how such different textures nonetheless sound like they are born from the same musical imaginations. It’s all part of the excellence inherent to this project.
Two of the strongest songs on the album’s second half, “Bennett” and “All Your Fault”, also ask a great deal from listeners thanks to how they restlessly move from one section to the next. Weatherboy, with a few exceptions, come off as a duo loathe to linger for long in any particular groove. They are always shifting moods, tempos, and looking for new angles to leave an impression on the listener. “All Your Fault” is, likely, a more lyrically accessible number than “Bennett”, but it’s also a clearly unsettled number that wants to keep a listener’s head spinning. The final two songs couldn’t be more different. Both “Home Fire” and “Full Bloom” are the leanest, bare bones affairs since the song “Eva” and conclude the band’s debut with a reflective point of view. Weatherboy has the sound of duo inspired to explore musical and personal territory they haven’t yet broached and the result is one of the best albums to emerge in 2017. We can only hope they will reconvene soon for a second effort as the promise exhibited here is clearly boundless.