Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology album review

Neo-Kraut space siren returns with most focused and beguiling release yet

Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology album artwork

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With roots in the late 90s Manchester music scene that spawned artists including Elbow, Doves and Badly Drawn Boy, Jane Weaver has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, with her last three albums exploring new realms of quirky space rock, cosmic folk and interstellar disco.

But for all their sonic innovation, Weaver remains a singer and songwriter first and foremost, and on Modern Kosmology, she achieves a greater clarity by stripping her new sound back to its core elements. Did You See Butterflies? is an early highlight, its one-note bassline and simple guitar riff illustrating this more minimal approach and giving full rein to Weaver’s pure, celestial voice. The title track rides in on a shuffling, jazzy beat and fluting Moog loop, while its glorious swinging vocal melody will have Broadcast fans swooning. The melancholic synth pop of Slow Motion is unexpectedly haunting, while the juddering arpeggios and rolling toms of The Architect enliven the mood. But perhaps the finest track here is Valley, a dreamy, bucolic ballad that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool. This is a brilliant album replete with musical riches, and Weaver’s most consistent set to date.

Joe Banks

Joe is a regular contributor to Prog. He also writes for Electronic Sound, The Quietus, and Shindig!, specialising in leftfield psych/prog/rock, retro futurism, and the underground sounds of the 1970s. His work has also appeared in The Guardian, MOJO, and Rock & Folk. Joe is the author of the acclaimed Hawkwind biographyDays Of The Underground (2020). He’s on Twitter and Facebook, and his website is https://www.daysoftheunderground.com/