Jane Weaver tells us about the influences behind her new album ‘Flock’
Jane Weaver has been making music since the early '90s, having spent time in Britpop-era band Kill Laura and early-'00s folktronica act Misty Dixon, and more recently with solo work mixes elements of folk, baroque psychedelia, indie rock and prog. She just released Flock, which adds a dose of danceable pop to her sound and is her most accessible album to date. You can stream the whole thing below.
We asked Jane to tell us about the influences behind Flock, which include music, film, art and musical gear, plus a few feathered friends as you might expect given the album's title and artwork which has her surrounded by birdhouses. Check out her list, complete with commentary, below.
JANE WEAVER - TEN INFLUENCES BEHIND 'FLOCK'
I have no idea why my mind tends to visualise birds a lot whilst I’m writing, I think on every album I’ve got a reference somewhere, on this one its plastered all over the cover. I feel sorry for some birds. I grew up in Widnes, a chemical town outside of Liverpool, and they used to be overrun with Starlings at certain times of the year, and the council would try all sorts of methods to try to control them. They saw them as pests, but I really loved them. At dusk they would all gather and perch at the top of the Runcorn Bridge across the River Mersey, it was quite an emotional sight.
Éric Rohmer Films
I watched a lot of Rohmer's films from the Comedies and Proverbs series whilst making the album, there’s something really sweet and comforting about them. There’s usually some romantic theme and a small cast of characters, plus you get the cultural insight to 1980’s French apartment living (La Cuisine est tres petit). Inspired by this era, we sampled a section of music from 1980’s French band ‘Agence Tass’ for the song "Sunset Dreams." I collaborated with Andy Votel and it was nice to pretend to be soundtracking an imaginary film.
I decide to finish the album lyrics in the French seaside resort of Carnac, it’s a place I know well and felt easy for a solo trip. I’d never visited outside of summertime before and it dawned on me as I arrived that the town was mostly closed -- no shops, bars or restaurants open and because a lot of the houses are holiday homes hardly any people too. It was quite a strange and isolating experience, I already had the skeletal lyrics for "Heartlow" and it was like the hand of fate was making me experience it in real life too.
This bird painting
I love this tapestry, my husband bought it for me, I have no idea if it’s the result of a generic tapestry kit design or someone free styling, I’d like to think the latter and that it was someone’s hippie Nana. It’s quite bold and garish but equally cute and soothing, when I work from home it's directly in front of me when I look up -- I think it has subconsciously inspired me.
As a kid I first saw Will Powers ‘Kissing With Confidence’ video on the Max Headroom Show in the ‘80’s, the song has always stuck with me, I knew it was Carly Simon but knew nothing about Lynn Goldsmith and the fact that she was really cool until recently. The album Dancing for Mental Health was definitely on my radar whilst I was recording, I love the sheen and the production style and its really representative of that early ‘80s electronic pop sound.
The Holy Mountain Soundtrack
My husband [Andy Votel]'s label Finders Keepers re-issued this a while back so it’s always been around, but I guess I focused on it more recently and some of the interesting sounds. I really love "Violence of the Lambs," the flute and orchestration is really beautiful, when I was working on the track "Flock" it inspired me to use layered flutes and more spiritual jazz / Don Cherry style vibes to make it more transcendental and atmospheric.
When writing "The Revolution of Super Visions" I had this idea that a revolution could happen as a resolution to world problems but more on the supernatural tip…everyone visualising the same idea and then it occurs like some strange phenomena, we could add laser eyes into the mix and throw that type of glare when anyone was being annoying too.
Roland Guitar Synth
I’ve used the Roland Guitar Synthesizer on the past few albums as more of a space rock tool. It’s a powerful beast and has presence whenever it lands, although controlling it is another thing...for this record it’s used more in a funk/glam context like Prince’s "Bambi." The one I was using in the studio used to belong to Status Quo which is pretty funny, but also Hot Chocolate used a similar model when recording the hit track "Every 1’s a Winner" if you listen to that guitar riff it’s so instant and cool.
"I'm 28" by Toni Basil
This is one of my favourite songs, it’s a b-side and bubble gum /girl group/ tragi-pop at its best, it’s also written by Graham Gouldman from 10cc! I love the lyrics and the overall sentiment of having bittersweet words but it’s an uplifting pop-song, I was definitely in that mindset when writing "Heartlow," feeling miserable and wanting to write myself up.
Hall and Oates- "I Can’t Go For That"
When you are drifting and feeling bad its important to embrace the joy of music that is tried and tested to project yourself into a good mood, this has simple production but it’s really effective and a great universal pop song. I really dig Hall and Oates and like to listen to this on headphones or in the studio on the big speakers for full indulgence.