Photography: Stuart Moulding / @OohShootStu

Modern Nature

Harvest Sun @ Shipping Forecast 18/9/19

In a time when it’s growing increasingly harder to connect with the natural world, MODERN NATURE’s music provides a fitting soundtrack for such escapism with their debut long player, How To Live. The band’s identity is very much a sum of its parts, featuring names from Ultimate Painting, Beak and Woods. As you might expect, the resulting sound is cosmic, reclined and altogether warming.

They take to the stage without drawing too much attention to themselves The modestly decent turnout quickly edge forward to fill any unused space and what follows is an explorative and soul-soothing affair. Opener Bloom is an elegant introduction, commencing the set with an atmospheric and solitary saxophone. It’s clear from the off that these musicians are meant to be together; they simply glue so well.

Jack Cooper’s voice has been key to the success of his many past projects and things aren’t much different this time around. There’s such an effortlessness behind the quartet as they continue to dispatch How To Live in its entirety. Evidently the record was built to flow, but also to retain a sense of freshness and surprise. There’s a light and shade throughout the night, as the band lull the crowd into their meandering jams before quickly bringing the tempo up into new territory.

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There’s not much room for any dialogue between songs. They take a breather halfway through the set which opens the door for some discussion. “So we’re halfway through the album now and this is the part where you flip it over,” says Jack Cooper, jokingly. They continue into the track Nightmares, a track puts the listener into a weird dream state if anything. It begins to verge on peculiar just how calming and absorbing this experience begins to become; there are big saxophone solos, wandering guitars and hushed vocals that seem to soak into the crowd.

This band don’t look like they have joined forces with a mission to flip the music world on its head. Instead, you get the feeling that this is a more informal project constructed to satisfy their own creativity. Despite exploring a vast landscape of psych on the record and in the live environment, it’s hard to see this project doing anything radical in the near future. Perhaps that could eventually be seen as a limitation, but none of that really matters tonight. This is a bunch of accomplished musicians who are clearly comfortable in their own skin.

What we see tonight is a band confident enough to tackle their ideas; they’ve got the history and experience to back up their humble ambitions. As long as this group keep their hunger to create then it looks like we’ll be gifted with some great material in the coming years. And while it’s early doors for this particular project, it already feels like Modern Nature are well on their way to becoming a finished package.

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