A meandering blend of bucolic folk, experimental jazz, and psych-tinged indie rock, Modern Nature is a project from U.K. artists Jack Cooper (Ultimate Painting, Mazes) and Will Young (Beak, Moon Gangs). They made a strong critical impression with 2019's How to Live, which was followed a year later by the mini-album Annual.
After the 2018 breakup of Cooper's former band, the acclaimed indie rock outfit Ultimate Painting, he began working with Young on a new venture that took cues from the classic British folk of Bert Jansch and the exploratory jazz of Alice Coltrane, and fused it with elements of the indie rock from which they came. Enlisting cellist Rupert Gillett, drummer Aaron Neveu (Woods), and saxophonist Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers) to complete their ensemble, the two set about recording their debut release. Signing with Bella Union, Modern Nature issued their four-song debut EP, Nature, in March 2019. It was followed five months later by their first full-length, How to Live. Having quickly established themselves as a critical favorite, Cooper and the band, this time minus Young, returned to the studio in December to record a pastoral song cycle based around a series of seasonal journal entries Cooper had made. The resulting mini-album, Annual, was released in June 2020. ~ Timothy Monger, RoviSource [Spotify]