Label: Ripe Fruit Release date: Out now! Website: Official Website Weather Pending are a San Francisco trio; Janie Oliver provides the vocals and hopefully the fresh, healthy, but reasonably priced Italian grub, whilst Rob Cross and Brian Bloi handle the instrumentation. Debut album ‘And How’ is curiously assured, intricate yet welcoming, catchy but elusive. Opening track ‘Complicated Two’ opens with a characteristically awesome guitar riff and wastes little time before introducing Janie’s soulful, angelic voice tinged with sultry huskiness. From the outset Weather Pending’s sound will feel comfortably familiar but is suitably imbued with a personality that becomes increasingly obvious throughout the course of the LP. Each track fuses a slightly different concoction of sounds together; be it jazz together with samba-esque rhythms and guitar, or electric bass alongside a virtually classic guitar style. The album is cohesive certainly, but with a satisfying propensity to reach out to the occasional atypical combination of themes. The instrumentation indeed is commendable. Highly effective use of harmonics and beautiful cadences suggest Bloi was classically trained, and again the overall sound of the band benefits from his ear for melody either way. The lyrical content further enhances the originality, or at least marks a satisfying break from the usual pitfall of cloying sentimentality. ‘A man’s heart and a man’s pride/are a complicated two’ indeed Janie; her simple, gentle honesty shining through. Faults do exist however. A good clutch of songs run on for ever-so-slightly too long, and without quite enough variation so that they border on ambient. This, of course, is not necessarily a band thing but will limit the appeal of the LP to a small degree and hints at what is the only real criticism; a sense of untapped potential. In closing, ‘Her Thoughts To Me’ features a brief spoken word segment performed by a male voice, and adds instantly a fathom of depth to the song; something, or at least a theme that could have been developed more thoroughly throughout the course of the record. And How! is at time touching and reflective, at others uplifting. Janie’s is not the only subtly unique voice on the record; as a whole the mesmerising, intertwining rhythms, timbres and textures elevate the debut offering from Weather Pending above the level of potentially ambient fusion pop to a much higher plane. The forecast is most definitely bright thanks to this soft little ray of sunshine. Download Tide for free! Rating: 8/10 MP3: ">Weather Pending - Tide