Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology

In terms of what I'm going to write about Jane Weaver's quite wondrous new album Modern Cosmology, which came out on Friday, I'm very much following a received line, from what I've read in reviews of the record that I've read over the last couple of days and conversations I've had with friends who follow her.

Here's an example on the sticker from the sleeve of the album which I bought yesterday:

'Self-penned and self-produced Jane Weaver's Modern Cosmology is the result of a scientist of popular song gone rogue. Here we find a model of second-hand, Kraut-rock, female punk, new-wave, synthesiser skip-finds and unpronounceable worldly pop who's finally reached her eureka moment.'

Nicely put. Weaver's 2014 album The Silver Globe, one of my favourite albums of that particular year, laid the path for Modern Kosmology in that it gained her attention and critical attention she had never quite achieved in a recording career going back more than twenty years, both as a member of various bands and as a solo artist and also felt that it was making a huge personal statement. Now Modern Cosmology is here to capitalise on all that, and it effortlessly hits the jackpot.

It's very much a back to the future exercise. Very sixties and seventies in its roots. Prog, Kraut-Rock and sci-fi cinema. But now, we very much are in the future even though we can't help but look back in the way we process and try to understand it. As Alex Petridis puts it in his fine Guardian review of the record:

'Its an album that demonstrates Weaver's rare talent for a largely forgotten skill of the first psychedelic era. It doesn't sound anything at all like Jefferson Airplane or Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, but it does what they did on White Rabbit and See Emily Play respectively, delivering music that sounds like it's transmitted from the outer limits in sharp, concentrated accessible doses. All of the unearthly power, none of the excess.'

I'm reminded of Neu, ABBA and most of all of Stereolab and Broadcast, two of the most underrated bands of the last thirty years. Weaver takes their legacy forward. This is cottage industry space-pop music with huge ambition, scope and potentially popular appeal. The computers are humming. Quite effortlessly one of my very favourite records of the year already. It never takes a false step. Hear it if you can!

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