Andrew Weathers Ensemble: Fuck Everybody, You Can Do Anything
The third studio release from the Andrew Weathers Ensemble exudes defiance and self-reliance in equal measure. There's the provocative album title first of all, as well as track titles such as “Keep Fighting 2k15,” “We Will Never See a Cloud Again,” and “You Are Powerful and We Are Taking Over.” Fuck Everybody, You Can Do Anything is also Full Spectrum Records' premiere LP release, and the forty-one-minute collection caps a trilogy that began with 2011's We're Not Cautious.
The album developed out of a week of studio improvisations conducted in Emeryville and Oakland, California. Building upon those recordings, Weathers added layers of guitar, synths, and vocals to bring the compositions to their finished form. Drawing upon American folk, gospel, and experimentalist traditions, the recording presents a portrait as richly hued as the country itself. Acoustic instruments such as banjo, clarinet, piano, and violin become natural bedfellows to synthesizers in the album's seven settings, and as he's done in the past, Weathers once again stakes out a unique space in the musical firmament in the way he blends elements of folk and ambient-drone into arresting wholes.
Though we've admittedly been less taken by Weathers' vocalizing in the past, it sounds a whole lot more palatable on the new material—or maybe it's simply that we've grown more accustomed to it over time. Regardless, his singing adds a raw and unvarnished character to the pieces on which it appears that's not unappealing. His keening call bolsters the yearning uplift of “Live By Golden Rule: Go Orange Be Strong,” his rustic murmur enhances the folk tune “Keep Fighting 2k15,” and on “We Will Never See a Cloud Again,” Weathers' voice emerges as a veritable choir of near-ecstatic supplications.
Though fewer in number, the instrumentals entrance most of all, perhaps because with vocals absent the material is able to more clearly sever its earthly ties. Using clarinet, harmonium, and acoustic bass to generate the ambient-drone lament “They Said That One Day We'd Be Free” seems like some modest stroke of genius when the outcome is so magical, and the pairing of a vibraphone's crystalline shimmer in “Shout, O Glory! Sing Glory Hallelujah!” with bowed strings and synth chords also makes for a stirring result.