The Weepies are a singer/songwriter duo that met at Club Passim in Boston. Deb Talan had been playing the legendary music venue for some time, and on an off night she went to go listen to a New York songwriter, Steve Tannen, whose debut CD, Big Senorita, was one of her favorite albums. They met after the show, stayed up all night drinking a bottle of wine, wrote songs, and according to the band's bio, made an "electric connection" that has lasted for four years.
That brings us up to now. Together as The Weepies, they have released their second album, Say I Am You, via Nettwerk. The first thing I usually end up doing when listening to an album is to decide what season I will likely be listening to it in. This album has no such category. It is perfect for a rainy day, sunny day, fall day, or winter day. Basically, it's an any day album. I must admit, I have been very partial to female vocalists since I first bought Soul Journey by Gillian Welch, something I've never admitted to up until now, and Deb Talan has quickly become one of my favorite female voices.
There is nothing complex about this album, and that's why it works so beautifully. Deb and Steve trade off vocals throughout the album, and while I'm usually more partial to female vocalists on these types of "switching off" albums, (see Camera Obscura's Underachievers Please Try Harder) both vocalists have such fragileness in their words and voices that it's hard to not be intrigued and somewhat heartbroken at the same time. And by no means is this a tearjerker of an album. It's beautiful, uplifting, and yet morose in the best possible way.
The best part about a band with a female vocalist and a male vocalist is simple - the harmonies never fail. I find it difficult to find anything more aurally pleasing than a female voice harmonizing with a low tenor. On "The World Spins Madly On," Talan and Tannen harmonize like the best of them. "The whole world is moving and I'm standing still," Tannen explains. It's not much different than the feeling you get while the two harmonize that line together. It's as if they're looking right at each other and having a normal conversation.
This album is in the vein of Stars, where every corny line, every harmonized vocal, and every dramatic moment, is nothing short of perfect. You couldn't imagine these songs recorded any other way. They're sparse and lonely, happy and joyful, sad and depressing, but they're all songs that you can listen to in any mood, at any moment, or more importantly, during any season.