- By Kaelen Bell


PAUSES before landing on the word: “Liminality.” It’s a fitting response from an artist whose music has always ignored easy outs — a concise term that rejects concision, an answer full of questions. “You’re never living in one narrative or another,” she continues. “I’m not a very black-and-white thinker. I tend to live in the grey.”

Lindeman’s 15 years as the Weather Station have been defined by “the grey.” From the fingerpick­ed majesty of All of It Was Mine and Loyalty to the folksy ferocity of The Weather Station, her music moves in subtle shades, picking at the loose strings of life. With Ignorance, her awe-inspiring fifth record, she unravels the whole thing.

Ignorance is an act of kintsugi, shattering Lindeman’s previous musical boundaries and piecing them back together in gleaming new forms. This reimaginin­g extends to the record’s visual universe too; in a series of self-directed videos, Lindeman dons a handcrafte­d suit of shattered mirrors, a physical manifestat­ion of the jacket described on album track “Wear.” “It wasn’t until later that I realized, ‘Huh, I’m literally wearing the world like some kind of garment,’” she says, laughing. “The intuition — subconscio­us — is pretty strong. Things connect and lead you in beautiful directions.”

That subconscio­us pull appears again in the shearwater­s, robins, crows and thrushes that fly across the record. If Ignorance is about opening yourself to truth and feeling, then birds are its messengers, symbols of wildness and new perspectiv­es. “No matter where you are in the world, there are birds. And it feels like this crazy gift,” Lindeman says. “They redirect everything.”

Those delicate wings carry heavy burdens on Ignorance; as much as they embody freedom and life, they also act as unwitting harbingers of climate disaster. On “Atlantic,” they circle above as Lindeman contemplat­es headlines and rising tides; on “Trust,” she longs to hold their limp bodies to clutch “everything that I have loved and all the light touches / While we still have time.”

For all the fear and betrayal on Ignorance, there’s an electric current of possibilit­y, a vision of something better. “I actually am a strangely hopeful person,” she says. “And I think it’s because I have a certain negativity in my outlook

⎯ it makes me more hopeful because the dark stuff never surprises me, I guess?”

That seed of optimism is there, struggling to come up from under all the upheaval and doubt. “It feels like a liminal time, when a lot of things are breaking down. And a lot of that is sad, but some of it maybe doesn’t have to be,” she says. “But hope is a weird word. I don’t know if I’m hopeful. I feel like so many people around me are sort of hand-wringing about human nature, and I’ve never seen people as good. I don’t see people as bad either

⎯ I see people as very soft and vulnerable. So there’s room for change.”

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