The new album from Jane Weaver, Modern Kosmology, out today on Fire Records, is the sort of release that beguiles a listener. Jane has crafted something special here. She's hit a peak that's a long way from her beginnings with the folks at Twisted Nerve.
On "Did You See The Butterflies" Weaver coos in a manner that should appeal to those of us who grew up on Kate Bush, or even Sandy Denny, records, the sound a nice blend of alt-rock conventions with folk-y ones, while on the title track things get more adventurous, the backing tracks under her voice exploring a faint electro vibe. Elsewhere, on the rockier "Loops In The Secret Society", there's the trace of a Sixties flavor in the background as the guitars work out a near-Krautrock sort of rhythm with Jane singing confidently over top of it all, while on the Stereolab-inspired "The Lightning Back", Weaver hits another peak on this fine record, the tune one of the best here. Things are sent in another direction on the sublime "Valley" which sounds like nothing so much as early Nineties Cocteau Twins, while the trippy "Ravenspoint" edges into the sort of territory that past pioneers like Broadcast once explored.
This is a remarkably confident album and I can say that Modern Kosmology is clearly a career watermark for Jane Weaver. She's been a criminally underrated vocalist for a long time but, hopefully, this release will get her the sort of attention she's long deserved. The record is a superb melding of a few styles into something that feels familiar in spots but which remains inventive and (most importantly) tuneful throughout.
[Photo: Rebecca Lupton]