I Want To Feel The Life We Loved In The Sun

Jane Weaver’s recorded music is so otherwordly, it seems to exist in its own perfectly formed universe. Seeing her perform live at Band On The Wall on Friday night, a packed out venue with some difficult sight lines and a band of four blokes dressed in black, makes her music a bit more earthbound and of this place. This is not a criticism at all. The songs still take flight and Jane’s vocals soar over the motorik drumming and shades of Hawkwind guitars. Single Slow Motion is a perfect slice of electropop, and the Silver Globe songs get the full 60s folk plus 70s sci-fi via loopy psychedelia treatment. There’s a real warmth to the tunes and the playing, the songs coloured by dappled sunshine and shadows, with a sense of wonder in them, but for every drone or keyboard squelch there’s also killer verses and choruses, psych with songwriting. This gig is a brave move in some ways- the album Modern Kosmology was released on the day of the show so most of the people in the audience, me included, are hearing many of the songs for the first time. I’d like to see her play them again in a month or two when I’ve got to know them. As a result of having lived with this one since early April, when I woke up the following morning, this was the tune going round my slightly fuzzy head.

Advertisements

Slow Motion

I need something breezy and colourful to kickstart Monday so this will do very nicely- new luscious cosmic pop from Jane Weaver that makes it feel like spring has sprung (even though it clearly hasn’t). Her Silver Globe album from 2014 was a giddy delight, a folky voice filtered through analogue electronics and glitter. This new one sounds just as good. An album called Modern Kosmology is out on May 19th (which coincidentally is my birthday).

Creation Magik

Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve are shaping up for what is promising to be one of the summer’s best releases (album The Soft Bounce due soon). I’ve already posted the beauteous single and remix of Diagram Girl. The follow up, Creation, has vocals from Jane Weaver and Hannah Peel and has been remixed and stretched out here by Psychemagik in a lovely, percussive and spaced out manner.

Fell From The Sun

This song continues the (unintentional) sun/clouds theme I’ve been riffing on here recently- Toy and Jane Weaver with an excellent slice of psyche-folk (released for RSD 2015). The guitars remind me a bit of Ocean by The Velvet Underground, and a few other things I can’t quite put my finger on. Understated and restrained.

If you haven’t got Jane Weaver’s album from last year, The Silver Globe, please go out and get it right now.

2014: A List

This is my list of the stuff I’ve enjoyed most this year. There is nothing objective about rating or comparing music, any Best Of… can only be subjective.

Albums
There are two compilations that have taken up some of my listening time in 2014- Kompackt’s ‘Total 14’, two discs of electronic tunes from the Cologne based label, with a high hit rate. The Time And Space Machine’s ‘The Way Out Sound From In’ was a compilation of Richard Norris remixes that worked like a proper album and sounds adventurous and open minded. I liked the Ellis Island Sound album- a bit world music, a bit Talking Heads and Brian Eno. The Amazing Snakeheads ‘Amphetamine Ballads’ is a menacing, swaggering rock ‘n’ roll record shot through with hard drink, quiffs and cigarettes. Hollie Cook put out her second album ‘Twice’, ace Prince Fatty reggae with Hollie’s gorgeous and intimate voice. My top five, at the time of writing, looks like this.

5. Aphex Twin ‘Syro’
It might not have broken new ground but as a set of electronic sounds it was as good as it was unexpected.

4. Neneh Cherry ‘Blank Project’
Raw, honest and stripped back. A proper album.

3. Pete Molinari ‘Theosophy’
Totally retro- good songs, well played and sung, a cut above.

2. Warpaint ‘Warpaint’
I started listening to this back in January and haven’t got bored of it yet. Dreamy, stretched out grooves with the songs hidden somewhere inside.

1. Jane Weaver ‘The Silver Globe’
A month ago I had only just heard of the Jane Weaver lp. It’s been on my turntable more or less ever since. David Holmes and Andy Votel produce. The synths are cosmic, the singing beautifully English, the arrangements fantastic.

Singles/EPs/Remixes/Internet Only Releases/Etc

I don’t know what has happened to guitar bands this year. Many of them sound very hackneyed to me. Or maybe my tastes have just narrowed recently. Most of the sounds that I’ve had on repeat since January have been from the dance music end of things. I loved the Death In Vegas ‘Gamma Ray’ 12″, ┬áreally intense and absorbing techno. Several remixes buttered my toast- Khidja’s trippy ‘Mustafa’ as remixed by Timothy J Fairplay and Richard Norris’ ‘Freaks’ re-done Hammer horror style by Ivan Smagghe. I bought Maurice and Charles’ ‘I, Carpenter’ on 12″ on a whim and it throbs darkly with Escape From New York samples. I posted an Andrew Weatherall remix top nine last Saturday- the Julian Cope One Three One band Dayglo Maradona ‘Rock Section’ Remix (only on white vinyl novelty fans) was the best. The Hardway Bros four track 12″ from last month (Sleaze) has been on heavy rotation recently.
My top five goes like this

5. Warpaint ‘Disco/Very’ The Time And Space Machine Remix
Rolling, sexy, trippy dance rock.

4. Junior Fairplay ‘Sugar Puss’
Let’s party like it’s 1992. Breakbeats and Korgs. On one sided purple vinyl.

3. Tim Burgess ‘Oh Men’ Peaking Lights Remix
Stunning, driving, electronic reinterpretation of Tim’s country song.

2. Friendly Fires and The Asphodells ‘Before Your Eyes’
A two track chilled, cosmiche collaboration from the St Albans threepiece and Weatherall/Fairplay. This one came in a lovely thick sleeve and on orange vinyl and the A-side especially is superb.

1. Frank Ocean, Diplo, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon ‘Hero’

The Frank Ocean, Diplo, 50% of The Clash collaboration came out on the internet as a tie-in with Converse. It is a sort of hip-hop, doo wop, punky soundclash that sounds joyously great, while Frank sings about the experience of being a black man in modern America. The only thing wrong with it is at two minutes and forty six seconds it is over too quickly.

Argent

Argent- silvery white, a tincture of silver.

Jane Weaver’s album The Silver Globe is the Piccadilly Records album of the year and they don’t often get it wrong. Jane is a Liverpudlian folk musician who has moved up and beyond to produce a properly cosmic album, with silvery white flashes shot all the way through it. There are still some traces of the folkiness in the vocals and on some of the quieter moments. And there is space rock, motorik drumming, glorious synths and drones, and a lovely warm retro-futuristic romance. I think it’s got a post-apocalyptic theme running through the lyrics too. Worth a punt if you’re looking for something to ease you through the long dark nights of December.