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Modern Nature

How To Live

Bella Union

Released: 23rd August 2019

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.

As he began writing songs, Cooper was also tuning to the vibes of Earth
Loop, an instrumental solo album by BEAK>’s Will Young (under the name
Moon Gangs). For a long time, Cooper had hoped to work more with
Young, who almost joined his first band, Mazes, and was in the touring
version of his next group, Ultimate Painting. So he decided now was finally
the time, as he puts it, “to make good on hundreds of late night 'we should
really do music together' conversations.”

Cooper and Young’s organic compositions gain skin and muscle
through the thoughtful cello of Rupert Gillett, the insistent drumming of
Aaron Nevue (of compatriot outfit Woods), and the expressive saxophone
of Jeff Tobias, from Brooklyn jazz/rock juggernaut Sunwatchers. Each track
on How to Live evolved as these creative forces joined the group, and it