Five Right Now: Modern Woman

Pairing gothic vocal runs plucked from folklore with the thrashing underbelly of art rock, Modern Woman, who are signed to End Of The Road Records, emit a sense of calculated chaos that is hard to ignore. While both of their releases to date, Juniper and Offerings, are uniquely individual in sound, the unpredictability of songwriter Sophie Morgan’s shrieks and the uniquely improved textures that lurk below create a microcosm unlike many others. 

Drawing acclaim from the likes of Black Midi, IDLES and Squid, the band, whose debut EP has just been announced, take to the Garden Stage on Friday afternoon and are sure to throw a few twists and turns your way. These are their Five Right Now picks:

Gavin Bryars – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet

This is a composition by Gavin Bryars around a looped recording of an unknown man singing a stanza from the religious song, Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet. The full version is 26 minutes long. Bryars copied the tape loop repeatedly onto a continuous reel of tape, added a simple orchestral accompaniment, and the result is very moving. I have always had a penchant for music that uses and manipulates tapes, such the work of William Basinski. David, our violin, tape and percussion player, and I bonded over this, and now David does his own experimental tape-work in Modern Woman.

PVA – Exhaust/Surroundings

PVA bring have been insane at every gig I have ever seen of theirs. They are one of those trios that bring more energy to a performance than bands that have double their members. This song has also been remixed by Girl Band/Daniel Fox; two of my favourite bands in collaboration. The part at 3:31 is a massive highlight.

Veronique Chalot – Gwenc’hlan

I found Veronique Chalot down one of the Youtube rabbit-holes that I often venture down. I have found a lot of cool music and radio stations by following a train of suggested videos (thank u algorithms) – from Takashi Kokubo to the cherished ‘chill lofi beats to study/ relax to.’ I found Chalot’s voice and sensitive guitar/ dulcimer/ hurdy-gurdy playing particularly haunting, especially in this early French ballad.

Minnie Riperton – Les Fleurs 

This is such a well-written song and Riperton has overwhelmingly impressive vocals – one of the best. I always think of lots of angels all gathered together and flying around whenever I listen to it. Or perhaps the musica universalis. Very euphoric.

Shygirl –  Uckers

This is just a really really really cool song that I have on repeat. I love her use of samples and the power she exudes.

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