Birkin, Nico and Julie Driscoll, singer-songwriter Jane Weaver is
a unique and talented vocalist with her own distinctive style and
her own dazzling collection of songs.
Born in the
same hospital as John Lennon, she had a strict catholic upbringing.
Luckily for us, fate intervened and Weaver became seduced by the
sight and sounds of Kate Bush bellowing Wuthering Heights on TOTP.
"It was like
a visitation" she recalls fondly. "She had this other worldly quality
that was very emotive and very fairytale like. I immediately wanted
to become a singer."
A few years
later, Julian Cope and Echo & The Bunnymen had the same mesmerizing
effect and the smitten 15year old managed to persuade her parents
to buy her a guitar and amp for Christmas. Though she now plays
piano, violin, keyboards, xylophone and "various other bits'n'bobs",
Weaver continues to write most of her songs on the guitar.
She also insists
she still loves Kate Bush, though her list of influences now includes
Mazzy Star, Broadcast, Yvonne Elliman, The Pentangle, Serge Gainsborg,
Steve Albini, Cat Power, David Lynch, The Breeders and Neil Young.
Cynics might expect Weaver's debut mini-album to sound like a subtle
collage of the above. In fact, it's a quietly compelling collection
of dreamy melodies, sublime harmonies, lush instrumentation and
"I could have
recorded this album differently, without all the wobbly instrumentation
and flaws, but I love idiosyncrasies and frailties" informs Weaver.
"They're so much more emotive than anthemic choruses and polished
songs. I have perfect pitch, but I like stuff that's a bit experimental
and screwed up."
When she's not
composing spine-chilling songs, Weaver can be found fronting Twisted
Nerve quartet Misty Dixon. A prolific chanteuse, Weaver's lengthy
CV also includes stints as a DJ, remixer (D.O.T) and guest vocalist
(Andy Votel's Girl On A Go-Ped and forthcoming album All Ten Fingers
and Doves' Seven Day Smile). Lest we forget, she also fronted indie
outfit Kill Laura and released various critically acclaimed solo
EPs in the mid to late 90s on (Rob Gretton's) Manchester Records.
"I'm still proud
of those records, but Like An Aspen Leaf is the first record that
feels completely mine" she reflects. "It's immensely personal and
every song has it's own messed up little story."
A modest artist,
Weaver is quick to point out that she persuaded various Manchester
movers'n'shakers to contribute to Like An Aspen Leaf "with the promise
of a sandwich and cake". The ones that agreed were Dave Tyack, Mum
& Dad producer Joe Robinson, Dakota Oak instrumentalists Naomi Hart
and Richard Tomlinson and Elbow drummer and keyboard player Richard
Jupp and Craig Potter.