Manchester based, folktronic implosive, psychedelia-progressive-pop artist, Jane Weaver, receives her ideas as full visions transposing them while in the studio to be the semblance of new songs. This process personally birthed the question in her mind: how do other artists create? Her enquiry led her on a journey of discovery and an end point of writing about writing which culminated in her latest album, Modern Kosmology. In fact, through the investigation and analysis of the creative process and works behind a fairly obscure Swedish female (previous century active), artist Hilma af Klint, Weaver was lent a significant amount of inspiration. Cyclic was curious to understand what it was about this abstract painter that triggered her own creationism.
“She was a trained painter, who went rogue and became an abstract artist so she used to have seances and used spiritualism to draw energy in order to do ‘automatic’ painting and she would paint and paint exhaustively for days and days until she’d drop and it’s just stories like that that are ‘wow’ really striking; stories about how other artists create, so I guess, I was just trying to look for inspiration,” says Weaver.
The context for creating this album also heavily influenced by the reality surrounding Weaver’s actual world. The life lead in Manchester with her husband Andy Votel (Twisted Nerve, Finders Keepers and Bird Records) and their two primary/high school aged children along with the political backdrop of upheaval due to changes to the economy for the UK – Brexit decision in 2016 at the time of writing the album, were just some of the aspects contributing to this album creation. For Weaver, she feels control is being lost over some of these external factors as a human being and her way to combat – apply a positive spin to these geopolitics and frame the LP with an upbeat message.
“I just thought about just stopping for a minute and drawing from your own universe and trying to turn that into something positive. Taking something that you’re good at, and channeling your energy into that, and trying to feel happier about yourself.” She says.
Ironically and sadly, the day Cyclic caught up with Weaver, is cloaked in genuine tragedy as it is merely a day after the Ariana Grande Concert Manchester Terror Attack and having just returned from a quick promo tour in Southern England, including North Trade Records in London and gigs in Birmingham and Brighton, Weaver admitted that her focus was firmly on returning to see her son and daughter safe and well and disbelief that it could happen so close to home.
“I just wanted to get home as soon as possible.” Distress threaded in her voice.
“You know to be here, as it felt like I was a million miles away from Manchester with all the heartache – it’s awful.”
Turning our conversation back to the music and the transition of recording and releasing the album Weaver acknowledges the shift to a new label after almost six releases with Finder Keepers/Bird Records (the label she and her husband run together) has placed some hefty internal expectations on her – largely self-inflicted.
“It wasn’t just a case of working with a new team of people, obviously there is the worries of the new relationships with people, are they going to like what you’re doing, are they ok with what I’m delivering to them. It was a bit of a stressful time.”
Fortunately the team at Fire Records gave her the breathing room required to create.
“I’ve always been in a position luckily, that the people who I work with are understanding that I need to get my ideas out and just let me do this first and the people in the band for instance, they’re really cool they’ve all got their own thing going on and it mixes with what I do luckily, so we’re all the same page so to speak.”
In terms of the musicianship and the music supplementing this record will fans of her previous works (highly acclaimed) The Silver Globe for example notice any distinct differences? According to Weaver she has departed from the current tendency she’s seeing for psych bands to err on the side of revival featuring space echo and making everything too cosmic rather she’s gone for something she feels this time is a little more clearer.
“I just wanted to do something more defined more minimal in a way that still sounded quite heavy. So I tried to take from what I’d done, but tried to challenge myself in a way that sounded different.”
The result is Modern Kosmology and the challenge now is to transform that into a live show.
So while Weaver for the moment returns to her reality of caring for her kids educating them in the ways of this world, she also will spend time sharpening her live act in time for the UK summer.
“It takes a lot of rehearsal, I want it to sound kind of like the record, but obviously where there is room for it to be heavier or incidental stuff, it’s got to sound and look and different. Plus we’ve got somebody doing our visuals as well.”