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  • Writer's pictureJamie Varley

A Wonderful Illusion

The Album

Titanic Rising

In the final seconds of drowning, it is said a victim foregoes their struggle and succumbs to calm. A hallucinogenic serenity overcomes the body and mind, crossing the divide between fighting to live and accepting what is to come. In our body’s final gift to our spirit, hopelessness paves its way for acceptance, and the fleeting moments of everything we have lived for culminates in peace and happiness.

The space nearest to drowning is where this album exists.

In a Pitchfork interview released in the lead up to her 2019 opus, Natalie Mering sets the intent of Titanic Rising.

“I’m speaking to anybody who feels overwhelmed by the sheer mass of all these problems. I hope you could have a smile during the apocalypse and be grateful for whatever conditions exist, because life is a beautiful thing”

Mering pieces sprawling thoughts together with perspective and clarity. She muses over topics she finds important, trimming the superficial fat as if this was her last album, her last message to the world.

Topics touch on isolation and destruction, whether it be ravaging a world we aren’t grateful for, the isolation of social media, fate, commitment, or finding one’s place in the world. The songs are set over cosmic and surreal instrumentation, so simple yet overwhelming and drenched with divinity.

With the negative subject matter and disdain with the current workings of our society, Titanic Rising’s ultimate mission is to provide acceptance. We can look to each other to find comfort. Even in the emptiness of hopelessness, always hold onto togetherness, honesty, and purity, and find good instead of drowning in darkness.

When the world is falling apart, whether it’s your own or the one around you, Titanic Rising helps you find peace in it.


The Food

Salmon Filets Bathing in Blueberries

We all know fine fishes are something that should rarely be tampered with. The taste is so delicate and rich that overdoing it with flavour leaves little for the subtlety of the fish.

But sometimes you have to take what you’re used to and reimagine it.

The addition of blueberry completely changes the relationship of salmon in a meal. The complexity of the fish is there but adding the tart and sweet explosion of blueberries and the acidity of the white wine and vinegar finds a way to raise and not drown the salmon. The orzo exists to add a saltiness to elevate the flavours even more, but ultimately acts as a compliment to the feel of the salmon in your mouth. An excessive crunch would throw the meal off, but the pairing of salmon and orzo allows for an effortless meal to eat and pleasing for the mouth throughout. The fried onion and asparagus add texture as a sidekick, but does nothing more than make you appreciate the smoothness of everything else.

The meal is smooth, adventurous and fulfilling. It is pleasureful but not indulgent, packing a flavour that is simple and so much bigger than what each of the ingredients could do individually. It is abnormal while making so much sense.

Moscato pairs effortlessly with the blueberries, while filling in the blanks that a subtle salmon leaves it.

The Experience

Titanic Rising and blueberry salmon is a rare indulgence. Too much of either can be exhausting and overwhelming. But each hits the spot perfectly, and when treated like a delicacy can last with you for a long time.

Each are so simple and beautiful, influenced by the beauty that we witness and experience in our daily lives. While simple, the uniqueness comes down to how the experience is framed – the perspective. Weyes Blood finds beauty in the darkness, salvaging what she can of our faulty society. She holds on to fleeting hope, knowing it may well be too late. The meal pulls from nature, blending raw and unassuming flavours of wine, fish, and berry. The magnitude of each experience is truly awe inspiring.

Each is a hidden gem hiding in plain sight. Whether it be the voice of realization towards the world we live in or the collection of ingredients so mundane, the originality but familiarity of both are surreal and timeless.

Living in the rising tide

Our life, a feeling that's moving

Running on a million people burnin'

Don't cry, it's a wild time to be alive



This one is easier than it looks. For those without NY Times access, see the screenshot below.

My mistake was to not add enough of the sauce. If I could do it again, the salmon would be drowning in it, not swimming as the recipe says.


Cut onions into strands. Dip in buttermilk, then in a mixture of flour, salt, and garlic powder. Shake excess mixture off the onions and grill them for 5-7 minutes in a pan with oil on high.


Follow the box's instructions. While the orzo is still warm, add in parmesan.


Break ends off the branches. Boil in salted water for 4 minutes, then immediately run under cold water.

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