Artist of the week

JANE WEAVER

Jane Louise Weaver (born 1972) is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She runs the record label Bird. Weaver has performed as part of the Britpop group Kill Laura, the folktronica project Misty Dixon, and as a solo artist. She was brought up in the town of Widnes, Cheshire.

Kill Laura began when Weaver was in sixth form college. Between 1993 and 1996 Kill Laura released five singles, two on Polydor and three on the Manchester Records label run by Rob Gretton, owner of The Haçienda and manager of New Order. Kill Laura disbanded in 1997.

Weaver formed Misty Dixon in 2002. The band originally consisted of Weaver, Anna Greenwood, Dave Tyack and Sam Yates. Misty Dixon released several singles, and one album, Iced To Mode (2003). However, the release of the album was shrouded in tragedy following the disappearance of Tyack in August 2002. Misty Dixon split up in 2004.

Solo career

Weaver’s solo career began shortly after the demise of Kill Laura. She recorded an album for Manchester Records in 1998, Supersister, but it was left unreleased following the death of Gretton in May 1999. A single, “Everyone Knows Everyone Else”, recorded in collaboration with Doves and Andy Votel, was released from the Supersister sessions.

Weaver continued her solo career alongside Misty Dixon. Following a number of singles Weaver’s first album, Like An Aspen Leaf, was released in 2002. It featured contributions from Andy VotelDave Tyack, Rick Tomlinson (Voice of the Seven Woods), Sam Yates, Naomi Hart and two members of Elbow, Craig Potter and Richard Jupp.

Her second album, Seven Day Smile (2006) was a collection of home recordings and material from the Supersister era. By the time of her third album, Cherlokalate (2007), Weaver was exploring more psychedelic folk and Americana influences. The NME review of Cherlokalate (2007) declared that “Jane Weaver is the sound of Cat Power if she’d grown up next door to Oasis, stealing their Beatles records and outshining them at the school Christmas concert”.

The Fallen By Watchbird, Weaver’s fourth album, was released in 2010. The Guardian wrote “Psych folk is back. It may have died out with the hippies in the 1970s, but now it has merged with folktronica, and the result here is not as twee and pretentious as one might fear… Weaver’s fragile, unworldly voice is carefully balanced against more muscular backing”. The album also received a four (out of five) star review in Mojo. Weaver wrote a fairytale book to accompany the album. A remix album, The Watchbird Alluminate (2011), featured interpretations by electronic artists including Demdike Stare and The Focus Group.

In 2011, Weaver recorded the library music recording Intiaani Kesä for filmmaker and fashion designer Paola Suhonen  of the brand Ivana Helsinki. A track from the project, “Parade of the Blood Red Sorrows”, was also featured in the 2012 film Kiss of the Damned.

The title of Weaver’s sixth album, The Silver Globe (2014), is derived from the 1988 film On The Silver Globe by Andrzej Żuławski. It featured contributions from CybotronBadly Drawn Boy and David Holmes. Her song “The Electric Mountain” uses a sample of “Star Cannibal” from Church of Hawkwind (1982). The Silver Globe was critically acclaimed as an artistic breakthrough and named Piccadilly Records Album of the Year 2014.

Weaver appears on the cover artwork of the 2002 Badly Drawn Boy album, Have You Fed the Fish?.

Coldplay‘s song “Another’s Arms”, from Ghost Stories (2014), featured a vocal sample from The Fallen By Watchbird album track, “Silver Chord”. Weaver said that Chris Martin telephoned her directly for permission to use it.

2015’s The Amber Light album is an extension of The Silver Globe, with three remixes from that album alongside four new songs and three instrumentals. It was made available both with the “Deluxe Version” of The Silver Globe and as a separate release.

Another album, Modern Kosmology was released in 2017, with Can vocalist Malcolm Mooney performing guest vocals on the track, “Ravenspoint”.

During October and November 2018, Weaver completed the short “Loops in the Secret Society” solo tour of England and Scotland, in support of her two most recent albums. Loops in the Secret Society was also the title of her double album released in June 2019 by Fire Records. The album contained reimagined and remixed versions of songs from her two previous albums. The deluxe bookback CD edition, released on 15 November, also contained a DVD featuring the experimental film installation which was featured on her previous tour. It was directed by Nick Farrimond. The first single from the album, “Slow Motion (Loops Variation)”, was released in March 2019.

Together with Peter Philipson and Raz Ullah, under the name of Fenella, Weaver recorded a reimagined soundtrack to the 1981 cult animated movie Fehérlófia by Hungarian director Marcell Jankovics. The album was released on vinyl only on 8 November 2019 on Fire Records.

Weaver released a single in October 2020 entitled “The Revolution of Super Visions”, from her forthcoming album Flock. A second single, “Heartflow”, and official video were released in January 2021.[18] The album was released in March 2021 to favourable reviews, Rough Trade also made Flock their ‘Album Of The Month’. On release week, the album charted at number 24 in the UK Albums Chart, the first time that Weaver has entered the top 40. Weaver also announced in October 2020 that she had a UK tour planned for June 2021. The tour was rescheduled in March 2021 to November 2021 and February/March 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discography

Like An Aspen Leaf (mini album) (2002)

Seven Day Smile (2006)

Cherlokalate (2007)

The Fallen By Watchbird (2010)

The Watchbird Alluminate (2011)

Le Rose De Fer/Intiaani Kesä (Soundtrack, with Pierre Ralph) (2013)

The Silver Globe (2014)

The Amber Light (2015)

Modern Kosmology (2017)

Loops In The Secret Society (2019)

Fehérlófia (2019) (By Fenella – Soundtrack, with Peter Philipson & Raz Ullah)

Flock (2021)