Jane Weaver – The Silver Globe

This another LP that I, to my eternal shame, missed when it was released last autumn; I knew it was out there and knew it had garnered some very good reviews, but something else always came up. After giving it some pretty heavy play in recent days I’m pretty damned sure it would have made my end of year best of list.

Weaver has been making music for a couple of decades now, both as part of groups (Kill Laura & Misty Dixon) and as a solo artist whose oeuvre has been mostly in the field of acid/psychedelic folk. ‘The Silver Globe’ however, is a more abstract and cosmic proposition. It is a concept album of sorts – “Part coming of age/part cautionary tale and part romantic peon, this synth ridden post-apocalyptic prog pop opus is based on tightly embroidered, non-linear recurring themes and inspired by esoteric stories, cosmic imagery and refiltered past experiences” (Finders Keepers press release.)and takes it’s title from Andrzej Żuławski’s sci-fi parable Na Srebrnym Globie (On The Silver Globe).What could have been a befuddlement of different genres and styles instead has become an opus of vision and courage – it takes in space rock (Hawkwind’s ‘Star Cannibal’ is sampled on ‘The Electric Mountain’), krautrock, acid-folk, hauntology and

It is Weaver’s vocals, however, that really grab the listener – drifting from the ethereal to strident, from placid to agitated but never losing it’s power to convey the intelligent and meaningful lyrics. Case in point – ‘Argent’ has krautrock written all over it with a steady and compelling motorik rhythm but Weaver’s vocals transcend this with an initial fragility that belies confidence and surety.

From krautrock we jump to space rock with ‘The Electric Mountain’. It’s Hawkwind motif complemented by some equally cosmic synths straight out of Ghost Box’s drawer of hauntology. The track sounds as rooted in the 80s as much as it does from the future.

‘Arrows’ is a more ethereal number, with other-wordly, almost Cocteau Twins feel to it over some cosmic synths and a bassline that sounds as though it has been lifted from the Twin Peaks theme. ‘Don’t Take My Soul’ is a jaunty thing – fairground music, repetitive beats and vocals straying towards the very top end of Weaver’s range. Via ‘Cells’ we get to ‘Mission Desire’ with it’s nod to the early 70s electronic innovators but with more contemporary beats and bass and a bit of cock-rock guitar. The track actually reminded me of Luscious Jackson.

As I’m sure other reviewers have pointed out ‘Stealing Gold’ has a definite Broadcast vibe about it with simple guitar and reverb drenched vocal.’If Only We Could Be In Love’ and ‘Your Time In This Life Is Just Temporary’ close the LP with a flourish – the former all echo and mournful vocals and the latter, stay with me on this, sounds like Enya produced by The Caretaker…I know, but it works – the feel of the Overlook Ballroom of the 1930s all echoey and distant.

It is testament to Weaver’s vision and reputation that she was able to attract some big names to contribute to the album; David Holmes co-produces a couple of tracks while Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy) adds some guitar to ‘Don’t Take My Soul’. Andy Votel adds some post-production work.

This LP is like the lover of your dreams…beautiful, beguiling and just when you think you know them, they surprise you.

It’s available from Finders Keepers and all good stockists.

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