Jane Weaver: Flock – Talking ’bout a vision revolution
Jane Weaver believes in a revolution. On her ninth studio album, she supports an uprising on the second track and lead single The Revolution of Super Visions, where she repeatedly sings, “Do you look at yourself and find nothing?”
“The revolution accidentally happens because so many people visualise the same ideals and something supernatural occurs,” maintains the Liverpudlian in a press release quote that reads a little like a manifesto of sorts. “Everyone is exhausted with social media, inequality and the toxic masculinity of world leaders contributing to a dying planet.”
Weaver spent a chunk of the 1990s fronting a long-forgotten Britpop band called Kill Laura, who released a few singles on the late New Order manager Rob Gretton’s label. Their album never saw the light of day, partially due to Gretton’s premature death. She also dabbled in folktronica as a member of Misty Dixon, but it’s her solo work under her own name that has gifted her a career renaissance.
Jane Weaver - Heartlow (official video)
Flock is a dizzying mix of glossy progressive pop; channelling sounds reminiscent of everyone and everything from Prince to Stereolab to dreampop pioneers such as Lush and My Bloody Valentine. Stages of Phase is the kind of kooky pop banger Goldfrapp would be proud of, and an under-the-radar Weaver was sampled by Coldplay, so the thought of her further infiltrating the mainstream isn’t too far-fetched.
The cover features the singer surrounded by birdboxes, waiting for the flock to return home to roost. In addition to offering a positive vision for negative times, Weaver has great fun making challenging pop music, reflected by the colour and vibrancy of her artwork and aesthetic.
It is heartening to see an artist who’s been under the radar for so long get her time in the sun with such a rapturous reception. This chimes with the newfound topsy-turvy unpredictability of today’s music industry, where the likes of Mogwai can scoop a UK number one album and even gatecrash the top 10 in the US.
The deeper issue behind these feelgood news stories is whether this will constitute long-term gain and recovery for a pandemic- blighted independent music scene. Weaver’s label, unsurprisingly named Bird Records, is an offshoot of Twisted Nerve, which has plenty of previous presenting Badly Drawn Boy to the world. Will a bump in sales be enough to keep careers afloat in the Spotify era? The rise of Bandcamp and others in the wider music community suggests it stands a chance.
This also begs an extension to this question: will there be a sea change along the lines posited by Weaver in The Revolution of Super Visions? Here’shoping.