ALBUM REVIEW: Change The Weather by Reader

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Picture the scene: it’s a cold and blustery Sunday. The rain is pouring, the sky is overcast, and you’re tucked up in bed wondering what to do with yourself. You don’t want to go outside for fear of getting wet, but know you can’t stay cooped up indoors all day. If there’s one album which beautifully captures this very British relationship with the atmosphere, it’s Reader’s new EP, Change The Weather.

Change The Weather is a soulful, moody release from Somerset artist, Reader, that’s rough around the edges yet sentimental at the same time. It features a total of four songs, all beautifully blended by producer and DJ, The Last Skeptik, who gives us ambient music with dark undercurrents.

In Give Me, Reader’s singing voice is juxtaposed against a sombre piano melody, and the two crescendo together beautifully. It features evocative lines like “My lips were without a saviour” and “Let my soul feel the way/away from his lonely voice”.

Change The Weather, the title track, is a fitting ode to gloomy days, in which a despondent other half is made to mirror adverse weather conditions. When Reader says: “Looking out the window, baby/ Trying to make the wind move, baby”, what she’s actually saying is: “If I could change the way things are between us, believe me, I would!”. 

WSL, my favourite song on the EP, is where things get jazzy. It introduces a vibraphone or xylophone to the mix, along with a saxophone played by Reader herself. WSL has a noir quality about it, and wouldn’t feel out of place in a detective movie, especially the line “Into the rain/ a bleeding sunrise”.

Hovering concludes things on a contemplative note. Reader says: “I’m here but I’m removed”, with reference to a relationship she’s in, and later adds: “You gave me a world/ But the world was yours,” revealing how lost and disconnected she feels. That sense of being on the edge is something we can all relate to at some point in time, relationship or no relationship.

Fans of Portishead or Mahlia, will love Reader’s work, which teeters somewhere between R&B and trip hop. Her new EP is available for download on Apple Music, and can also be listened to on Soundcloud. See what she’s up to now by following her on Instagram @readerthegreat.

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