Sunday, October 17

Jane Weaver: Flock Review | Alexis Petridis Album of the Week | Music

JAne Weaver’s eleventh album is announced by the artist’s guarantee that it is the album she “always wanted to make.” It’s the kind of thing musicians usually say in the promo cycle, but it feels a little strange coming from Weaver. Her career has spanned a variety of musical styles (grunge, folk, psychedelic and electronic, among them), but she has never had the impression of being an artist limited by conventions or commercial considerations, or anything else that could possibly prevent her from doing what she wants. wants. do.

Jane Weaver: Flock album cover

Jane Weaver: Flock album cover

She’s slightly brushed against the mainstream: Coldplay tested her track Silver Chord on 2014’s Ghost Stories; the title track from his latest album, Modern Kosmology, appeared on the Killing Eve soundtrack and the album itself made it to the lower reaches of the chart, but for the most part his career has been on the left field. Better to let yourself be pampered by their esoteric musical tastes, which currently go with “Lebanese torch songs, 80s Russian aerobics records and Australian punk.” Until recently, their releases were featured on Manchester’s Finders Keepers label amid reissues of Czechoslovak film soundtracks from the 1960s, French free jazz so obscure to musicians it made musicians struggle to remember when and where they did it, and concrete mid-70s music. Whatever you do with their roster though, it seems unlikely to be the kind of label where A&R men hit the tables and demand that artists control their wildest impulses and create something for Spotify’s Teen Party playlist.

So what has Weaver been emboldened to do? When listening to Flock, the answer seems to be: make a pop record, although it’s worth noting right away that such evaluations are relative. Flock is clearly still a Jane Weaver album, rooted in the influences that informed Modern Kosmology and its predecessor The Silver Globe: The Ghost of Brummie’s Experimentals. Heartlow; the rhythmic pulse that sustains Modern Reputation owes a clear debut to the pioneers of krautrock Neu!; The title track opens with sparkling chimes and a host of flute samples that wouldn’t sound out of place on Weaver’s acid folk-inspired album. The Bird Fallen by Clock. The synth noises floating around Weaver’s voice and a primitive drum machine on All the Things You Do have more in common with Finders Keepers’ esoteric electronic archive releases than anything else on the charts. But it’s a collection of shades noticeably brighter than her recent albums, and positively neon compared to Fenella, the ghostly “reimagined soundtrack” of an old Hungarian animated film she released in 2019.

Watch the video for the single Heartlow

Bringing the melodies that have always lurked in his music to the fore, he veers off in various ways towards Prince-influenced funk on the single The Revolution of Super Visions, with sparkling beats on Stages of Phases, a further glamor update. light and airy than that found in Goldfrapp’s Black Cherry. more blazing euphoria than sordid routine, and dance music at the closest Solarised. The latter is a perfect example of Weaver’s ability to twist pop music for his own purposes. It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to imagine the song at its center performed by Kylie Minogue or Dua Lipa; Attractive and commercially appealing, the rhythm track and bass are in keeping with today’s revamped disco craze, but the rest of the arrangement. It is made up of drifting and burst synth tones. The backdrop rises and falls, at times threatening to overwhelm Weaver’s voice in the process – he’s both stunned and euphoric. Similarly, Sunset Dreams’ choppy chorus feels close to something Radio 1 could play, but is set up in a collage of mildly hallucinatory sounds: funk bassline, an amplified and swirling dial tone, and various hums and hums. , some of them strangely sinister, disagree. With the sunlit melody

Flock’s lyrics often feel at odds with the bright melodies and lightness of Weaver’s voice, drenched as they are in what she calls “the tests of modern times.” “Do you look at yourself and find nothing?” she keeps repeating in The Revolution of Super Visions, which seems to be about the alternately addictive and repellent aspects of online communication. At other times, it is more direct. Modern Reputation finds her enraged at patriarchy and government in carved tones, her cool nonchalance making her lyrics sound less like a demand than a statement of fact: “It seems we need a remedy, we need to come up with some new ideas … it may. driving through a catastrophe. “Around him, a dense web of electronic components pulses erratically, as if the whole thing is about to lose its grip on rhythm and spin out of control. It feels genuinely different and exhilarating. , adjectives that you can apply with the same ease to the rest of Flock.

This week Alexis heard

Pearl Charles: Just for tonight
Los Angeles-based country-ish singer-songwriter does a brilliant mid-70s dance, packed with echoes of Abba’s Fox and Dancing Queen. A delight.

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