(Photo Credit - James Sharp)
Advance Review - Modern Nature - How to Live (August 23, 2019)
How to Live, Modern Nature’s debut album, starts with a hauntingly beautiful violin and organ. The first track, "Bloom", is dark and moody with no lyrics and I feel like I’m somewhere mysterious or maybe just somewhere cold and dark and dirty. What’s that? Drumbeats turn into footsteps as the mood shifts and the next song begins.
Low and behold, the song is called "Footsteps" and it feels like an adventure is starting. The aptly named song is peppy and rhythmic. Maybe it was the extra coffee, but I found myself dancing in my seat. A saxophone catches me off guard halfway through the track. Here the saxophone feels slightly out of place, a little too loud and distracting from the journey I felt like I’m on. But then…who’s to say that’s not partially the intent?
The end of "Footsteps" is jarring, but the next track, "Turbulence", quickly calms me.
I settle into the vibe of "Criminals", which seamlessly moves into the next track – "Séance". This is the kind of music that I can play in the background and type along to at my desk as I work. And then the saxophone is back again. Less unsettling this time, but still slightly jarring from the rest of the song.
"How to Live" feels like going on a collective journey. The tracks are definitely not disjointed, so much that throughout the album, the listener will feel the sensation of moving forward, floating (or sometimes stepping) from song to song. Sometimes not realizing the transition to the next track until it’s already taken place. At points it feels like being in a kaleidoscope of sound…in a good way.
Rating - 4/5