Hearts were aglow last night at Union Transfer for a brilliantly theatrical and gorgeous performance by Weyes Blood, the project of Natalie Mering, a Bucks County-rooted, choir-trained vocalist turned transcendent composer and poet. Her latest record, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow was on full display, with songs from the album making up most of the evening’s setlist and Weyes Blood’s costuming referencing the album artwork, lit dramatically in cool tones with a warm glowing heart beaming from her chest.

The second in a self-described trilogy, Weyes Blood’s And In The Darkness — which came in at number 16 on WXPN’s Best of 2022 MEGA-LIST — is a pandemic album in a startlingly indirect way. It was written during lockdown, as many records out these days are, but comments on isolation and apocalyptic times in society and her personal life as an artist. Penultimate track “The Worst Is Done” sums it up well: “They say the worst is done / but I think it’s only just begun.” Other lyrics cut through the glamour of her lush production and expansive live band with resounding relatability like “Sitting at this party / wondering if anyone knows me / really sees who I am” from album opener “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody.” Following in the footsteps of her breakthrough record 2019’s Titanic RisingAnd In The Darkness is both sonically enrapturing while processing themes of grief and loneliness.

Weyes Blood | photo by Paige Walter for WXPN

The sold out crowd for Weyes Blood’s Union Transfer set was excited and polite. Acknowledging that we all once were neighbors, Mering broke up her songs with a couple anecdotes about taking SEPTA from the suburbs into Philadelphia to see shows, and rattled off a list of house venues that were popular at the time. Another live highlight was the background visuals for “God, Turn Me Into A Flower,” produced from documentary footage of people from the around the world experiencing life-changing events, like political protests, juxtaposed with intimate everyday experiences, like giving a foot massage.

Weyes Blood returned to the stage for an encore after the 14-song, entirely Titanic and The Darkness-comprised set, for a requested “Something to Believe” and a solo “Bad Magic” from 2014’s The Innocents.

Before her satisfying performance was opener Molly Lewis, whose main talent is whistling. She whistled through background tracks of samba and otherwise Brazilian-influenced compositions from her latest EP Mirage for a truly unforgettable performance from a body of work worth familiarizing.

Below, check out a gallery of photos from Weyes Blood’s Union Transfer performance. The tour for In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow continues tonight at Brooklyn Steel, and then proceeds across the midwest for the spring. Check out full dates at Weyes Blood’s website.