Modern Nature – How to Live (2019) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Modern Nature – How to Live (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 41:36 minutes | 430 MB | Genre: Indie, Alternative
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Bella Union

The city and the country both have distinct, vibrant energies – but there’s something happening in between, too. As factories give way to fields, and highways drift into gravelly roads, the friction can be palpable, the aura electric. The lines between city and country were on Jack Cooper’s mind when he named his new band Modern Nature. He took the phrase from the diaries of filmmaker Derek Jarman, written on the coast of Kent in his Dungeness cottage. Visiting Jarman’s home, Cooper was struck by what he calls a “weird mix of urban and rural” – such as the way a nuclear power station sits next to open grasslands. On Modern Nature’s debut album, How to Live, urban and rural cross into each other. Plaintive cello strains melt into motorik beats. Pastoral field recordings drift through looping guitar figures. Rising melodies shine with reflective saxophone accents, placing the record somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle between the expansive motorik of Can, the Canterbury progressiveness of Caravan and the burgeoning experimentalism of Talk Talk’s Colour Of Spring.

A woven basket of bucolic British folk, woolly free jazz, and pulsing organic trance, Modern Nature burrow themselves into an unusual niche. A project of former Ultimate Painting chief Jack Cooper’s and Moon Gangs’ Will Young’s, the duo inhabit a murky space where punchy mod drums, burbling analog synths, and unwieldy saxophones dance with grassy field recordings, fingerpicked guitar, and secretive vocals suggesting ancient rites in natural spaces. Delivered by Bella Union, How to Live is the group’s first full-length release and improves upon the four-song Nature EP which they released earlier in 2019. Its ten songs range in form from gently droning folk meditations like the lovely “Turbulence” to sound pastiches like “Oracle” and propulsive psych-driven cuts like “Footsteps.” In the orange sunlight of their more whimsical moments, one can hear echoes of Welsh indie pop eccentrics Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci in Modern Nature’s hushed delivery and left-of-center arrangements, albeit overlaid with the cooler hues of exploratory indie rock. With its thrilling synth arpeggios and skittering drum pattern, “Criminals” is a standout in terms of songwriting and deft production. Located mid-album, it is immediately followed by its tonal cousin in the stuttered grooves of “Seance,” which, like “Criminals,” pulls a dramatic and deeply satisfying chorus out of its dark, misty verses. Like some of the more cerebral acts of Britain’s early-’70s folk-rock heyday, Modern Nature aren’t a portable commodity of singles and small ideas. Their music is defiantly experimental — though by no means impenetrable — and best enjoyed in its long-form splendor. ~ Timothy Monger

1. Bloom (01:42)
2. Footsteps (05:19)
3. Turbulence (03:37)
4. Criminals (04:22)
5. Séance (02:42)
6. Nightmares (04:23)
7. Peradam (04:15)
8. Oracle (03:19)
9. Nature (04:02)
10. Devotee (07:55)