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JANE WEAVER - MODERN KOSMOLOGY: REVIEW

May 31, 2017

J

JANE WEAVER

Modern Kosmology (Fire/Rocket)

 

This is probably going to be seen as electronica, though it’s not exactly. Or maybe psychedelia, though that’s but part of the deal. Maybe trippy folk? Yeah, kinda sorta. Best think of Jane Weaver as a kind of one-woman Stereolab: something of all of the above with a touch of distance.

 

I Wish, which ends the album, is pure pulsing machine beats and ‘80s synths, like a shiny Los Angeles bubble suddenly pricked. H_A_K, which opens, is driving, Neu!-like rhythms and interlocking wafting and urgent vocals that drifts off into what sounds like a literal wash.

 

Between them the title track slowly winds itself into a Soho party make out session, part Pink Floyd and part Swingle Singers, Slow Motion is gosh darn pretty and slyly seductive, and The Architect reimagines an indie disco in the year between Joy Division and New Order.

 

Meanwhile, Ravenspoint is pure dark-tinged psychedelia, the possible soundtrack to an Italian film of the late ‘60s, or the supporting bill on a Velvet Underground show. Phased and quasi-operatic voices come in and out over a hypnotic drone, there’s a little snaky guitar and then a male voice declaims “we’re on our way to dust” in just the kind of manner to scare the life out of the hippie in the corner hugging himself to safety.

Take in the low-profile rhythms, minimalist electronic sounds, high-and-sometimes-flighty vocals, occasional mixing in of sharp guitars and strings (in Valley those two are in fact the dominant sounds around a tremulous vocal), found/sampled sounds and sometimes dark overlays.

 

Then add some melodies which can flit between enjoyably ephemeral and easily memorable, and the overall feel of a slightly off kilter dancetorium, and Weaver begins to sound less like any of the genres suggested at the beginning and more like a resource to be mined for hours.

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