Review: It's hard not to feel hypnotised by "How To Live". Modern Nature's debut long form outing opens with the sombre, mournful strings of "Bloom" - a strong case for albums setting the mood before developing. Finally kicking in with a stepping, building track, from thereon in the record expands, contracts and burrows through looping guitars, segments of field recordings, earthly folk lyricism, and wild saxophone solos. Second-to-last track "Nature" is almost a mirror image of "Footsteps", or at least an answer to any prevailing questions - they get deeper and more immersive. "Nightmares" pulls you in with gentle synths rippling in the background beneath soft lines of brass. "Criminals", meanwhile, is a more complex sounding affair, a fittingly dark-hued arrangement of simple guitar hook and slightly unnerving timbre that slowly reveals its true, far more positive intentions.
Review: By the time you reach the muffled, eccentric opening bars of "Tenderness", just past halfway on "Anak Ko", Jay Som's remit is clear. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter has left her shoes, or rather shoegaze, behind. This time she's walking barefoot through a lo-fi musical tapestry, baring soles and heartbreak while musing on the importance of self-value. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the head-noddingly agreeable "Nighttime Drive" to the jerking, grunge-y "Peace Out", it's equal parts gorgeous and effortlessly- not to mention breathily- cool, sexy and surprising. Perhaps what's most reassuring, though, is that there's every chance this could all come across as affected and a little too self-aware. Nothing could be further from the truth from what we can hear- an honest work representing the next step in the evolution of a truly exciting American indie talent.