London-based experimental rock band Modern Women have released a new single, ‘Juniper’, and announce their debut EP Dogs Fighting In My Dream.
We covered Modern Woman’s debut single, ‘Offerings‘, back when it was released roughly a month ago. I gave it a fairly pedestrian score at the time, a 7.5, but I seem to recall enjoying it more than that, and upon revisiting the song I can confirm that it still kicks ass. If I wasn’t a stickler for formalities I would go back and change that score, but we can’t change the past, and so the score remains.
Basically, the problem was that I didn’t know what to make of the band. Vocalist Sophie Harris had an operatic and yodel-adjacent bray, while the band behind her were playing post-punk riffs with serious muscle and power. It was like if Dry Cleaning cared more about Black Sabbath and classical music than The Residents and The Fall.
“I wanted to write about the Juniper Tree tale but try to modernise it,” Harris explains about the new song’s origins in a press release. “I was always drawn to this tale and its depiction of the power of maternal longing, metamorphosis and sorrow.”
‘Juniper’ continues to retain the best elements of ‘Offerings’: string arrangements, octave jumping vocal melodies, heavy stop-start rhythms, and some dramatic flourishes for good measure. The main difference is that ‘Juniper’ is closer to a more mainstream sound, for whatever that’s worth. It’s still nowhere near the mainstream, but it’s more accessible than the blatant uncompromising nature of ‘Offerings’. That doesn’t take away any of the band’s signature style or drive, so it’s all good with me. Time to rectify my previously ambivalence: I like Modern Woman, and I’m excited to hear the new EP.
Check out the audio for ‘Juniper’ down below. Dogs Fighting In My Dream is set for a September 17 release.