There’s something almost gospel about Bethany Weimers’ Harpsichord Row. As it swells and grows with each track, she mixes perfect pronunciation with tribal drum beats, and at times heavy piano accompaniments not dissimilar to Tori Amos. The stereophonic sound in opener Silver Moon creates a disorientating effect, adding to the otherworldly vibe of the album, whilst The Letter combines melodramatic piano to ghostly vocals, further adding to its despondent sound.
Elsewhere, William & His Ghost boarders on electro-pop territory, a more upbeat number which draws you in with each breath of the melody. Given that Bethany’s description of the album is “hidden truths; about our connection to the world around us, and about finding hope in small things,” it’s not surprising that it feels likes a collection of stories and voices framed around a forgotten Oxford street and, fittingly, nowhere is this more apparent than in the title track. A meeting point for many current residents, Harpsichord Row acts as reminder that we’re constantly treading on history without taking the time to realise it.
In 1784 Bethany’s layered vocals take you back to another place, exploring the idea of emigrating for a better life inspired by her great-great grandfather. Whilst in other tracks, she seems to continuously revisit what it means to be a woman, which combines to create an album with a sense of searching, for stories, for meaning and for hope, and with each listen these elements become more prominent. The recording took place in Bethany’s spare room, and it’s proof that talent overrides expensive production, her passion ringing out with each note. Though musically the album is diverse, it’s Bethany’s ability to continually reinvent her voice which carries the whole thing forward, her vocals bending and blending into each track.