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Alternative & Indie - Released January 10, 2020 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 31, 2005 | Memphis Industries

Field Music are a trio of northern lads who work a rich seam of melodic and angular guitar with indie pop arrangements on their excellent self-titled debut record. For those who enjoy easy comparisions, here are a few: XTC at their most pop, the Beach Boys fed through a post-punk strainer, the New Pornographers with a dimmer switch. Formed by original Futureheads drummer Peter Brewis (and joined by brother David and Andrew Moore), the group shares some of the herky-jerky, harmony-rich feel of the Futureheads but exhibits a much calmer and more melancholy and diverse approach. The 12 tracks feature loads of vocal harmonies, inventive arrangements (harmonicas, glockenspiels, saxophones, falsettos galore), and soaring choruses the likes of which put them ahead of their old mates and at the forefront of this year's model of the British Invasion. Indeed, when Field Music are working at their peak, as on the quietly desperate "Got to Get the Nerve," "Like When You Meet Someone Else," the cello-sporting pop gem "Shorter Shorter," and the autumnal "It's Not the Only Way to Feel Happy," they display a feel for dynamics and an unfailingly catchy style of songcraft that their counterparts can't come near. That is enough to make Field Music one of the bands to watch in the mid-2000s, and to make their album one you have to hear if you are dedicated to smart, inventive, and exciting guitar pop. ~ Tim Sendra

Alternative & Indie - Released February 13, 2012 | Memphis Industries

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Field Music's fourth album is their most precise, most musicianly, most progressive album to date. Plumb is the sound of the Brewis brothers refining and perfecting their sound, breaking it down to key elements and keeping a tight rein on the individual songs and the album as a whole. Unlike Field Music (Measure), which seemed to last forever, Plumb rushes by quickly in a whirl of quirky (in a good way) arrangements and stirring performances. This time out, the brothers embrace the prog rock elements that have always lurked around the edges of their sound and have brought them out into the light. Along with the usual Beatles/XTC chamber pop that comes through in the big, hooky choruses and the chiming guitars, there are moments that sound like classic Yes or early Genesis, to name a couple. You can hear it overall in way the guitars coil around each other, in the tricky vocal harmonies and weighty-feeling lyrics, and in the interestingly weird combinations of instruments. There are flashes of pure prog too, like the squiggly bass of "Who'll Pay the Bills" and heavy synth rumble on "Choosing Sides." The prog they incorporate into their structure isn't the overly difficult kind, or the kind that appeals to musos or Tolkien devotees, instead it's the kind of prog rock with hooks and swagger (think "Roundabout") that you'd hear on AOR stations in the '70s. When done right, like on Plumb, this combination of pop and prog works like a perfectly constructed musical machine and here it results in what is probably the duo's most immediately satisfying album yet. The shifting dynamics within each song, and from song to song, keep you riveted throughout and the quality of songcraft has never been higher. Add to that the incredibly strong one-two punch of "Just Like Everyone Else" and "(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing" that ends the album in a soaring, heartbursting moment of pop brilliance, and you've got a record that stands out as a highlight in an already very impressive and inspiring career. ~ Tim Sendra

Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 2010 | Memphis Industries

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A lot happened to Field Music between the release of 2007’s Tones of Town and 2010’s Field Music (Measure). Most importantly, the brothers Brewis (David and Peter) decided to put the band on hiatus and start working on their own projects, the School of Language for David, The Week That Was for Peter. Both groups released excellent albums that had all the hallmarks of the Field Music sound (brainy arrangements, crisp playing, excellent songs) but were also slightly different from each other. The School of Language took an artier, more experimental approach, while the Week That Was made big, shiny pop music. In 2009, the brothers decided to regroup and start releasing music as Field Music again. The resulting double-album-length Measure is a seamless blend of the two brother’s styles that will thrill fans of the group’s previous work. Basically, the album sounds like it picks up exactly where Tones of Town left off, only the group sounds more confident and assured. The arrangements are more precise (which didn’t seem possible), the vocal harmonies are richer, and the quality of the songs is so high that it’s almost a problem. On most good albums, the handful of memorable songs jump out at you right away, here there are so many songs at the same high level that they start to wash over you after awhile. The band could have broken Measure into two excellent records instead of one super-long, super-good album. That being said, there is enough variation from song to song to keep listeners engaged; plenty of thoughtful, almost heavy ballads to balance the jumpy, uptempo tracks, lots of different instrumentation in the arrangements, and an assortment of moods from quiet melancholy to slightly louder melancholy. The only thing that’s changed for the band here is the classic rock feel that runs throughout the album and pops up where you least expect it. Moments like the blues-rock riffs and wah-wah guitar on "Each Time Is a New Time," the jammy section of "All You’d Ever Need to Say" that sounds like the quiet part of an Allman Brothers workout, and the dueling guitars on the coda of "The Rest Is Noise" show that the band is widening the scope just a little and doing it with their perfectly balanced and measured style. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the Brewis brothers and Field Music, and that’s good news for all their loyal customers, and for fans of smart and melodic guitar pop music. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 20, 2019 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 20, 2007 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 2, 2018 | Memphis Industries

In their long career, Field Music's David and Peter Brewis have never put a foot wrong. Their albums have been brilliant chamber pop from start to finish, full of complicated chords, tricky playing, and sneakily emotional lyrics. Released in 2016, Commontime added something new to their long-established formula: cute '80s pop flourishes that made it their easiest album to dance and/or swoon to. Arriving in 2018, Open Here goes further in incorporating poppy sounds while filling the arrangements with even more flutes, strings, and horns than have been heard on a Field Music album. The brothers still have the unerring knack for crafting smart and snappy pop songs that have more twists and turns than a mountain highway and sound clearer than a fresh spring running down the side of that mountain. Working with friends and colleagues in their home studio, the brothers Brewis have never sounded quite as relaxed, or gotten quite as political. The stop-start synth pop song "Count It Up" details all the advantages middle-class white guys have had -- and continue to exploit -- while sounding like Art of Noise on a holiday with Sparks. Elsewhere, the brothers knock out herky-jerk rockers ("Share a Pillow") that have some serious strut and honking horn sections; string-softened ballads (the title track) that show their prowess as arrangers; and soft rock grooves ("Daylight Saving") that never sink into stasis thanks to the powerhouse drumming (another Field Music trademark that is in full force on Open Here). The rest of the album's songs meet the exceedingly high Field Music standards of melody and wit, while coming off as both more condensed (thanks to the razor-sharp hooks) and more expansive (thanks to the guest vocals, extra horns, and rich arrangements). It's the kind of album where, as one song ends, the anticipation for what the next song may bring grows and grows. It's rare for a band so far into its career to make an album that can still surprise listeners as the group gleefully makes its way from beginning to end. Field Music are masters of that neat trick, and Open Here is no exception. It stands with their best work -- some songs would no doubt end up on a greatest-hits collection -- and in that regard is some of the best pop music anyone could hope to hear in 2018 or any time after. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2019 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2013 | Memphis Industries

Alternative & Indie - Released May 6, 2006 | Memphis Industries

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Field Music's debut record was one of the more pleasant surprises of 2005. Their brand of smart, sharp, and melody-rich power pop can be about the best kind of music on the planet when done right. To tide over fans smitten by the debut, the band released a collection of B-sides and early songs. Write Your Own History doesn't last long, the nine tracks skittering past in a flash but lingering pleasantly. The vocal harmonies are stunning, the melodies are sunshine on a cloudy day, and the arrangements are precise and clean. Obviously the band doesn't waste songs; their B-sides are as good as anything on the album. In case you were wondering where the songs come from -- "You're Not Supposed To" is a 2006 single, "Breakfast Song" and the gloriously lush "Trying to Sit Out" are taken from the April 2005 Shorter Shorter single, and "In the Kitchen" and "Feeding the Birds" are from July 2005's You Can Decide. The older tracks on the disc come from earlier incarnations of the group. "I'm Tired," "Test Your Reaction," and "Alternating Current" were recorded in 2002 by Electronic Eye Machine and "Can You See Anything" in 2000 by the New Tellers. Or maybe it is the other way around. You can check the cover for the confusing details, or you can forget the details and just listen to the great songs. In many cases such an early vault-clearing would seem like a desperate move of a band out of ideas; this record feels more like a band celebrating its past as it readies for a great leap forward -- plus, their pals in Maxïmo Park did it, so why can't they? No matter what the reason, the disc is a welcome addition to the band's small but hugely impressive catalog. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 11, 2019 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 5, 2016 | Memphis Industries

The Brewis brothers just can't help themselves. Despite all the solo and collaborative projects they work on separately, but mostly together, they always come back to Field Music. In the years since their last album, 2012's Plumb, David and Peter have stayed very busy as usual and along they way picked up a few new elements to add to Field Music's already wide range of ingredients. To go along with the blatantly prog elements brought to the fore on Plumb, on their 2016 album Commontime some very poppy stuff has been added. It seems the brothers have done a deep dive into the works of Hall & Oates and Phil Collins, leading to some of the catchiest Field Music tracks to date. The album kicks off with the super funky, horn-driven "The Noisy Days Are Over," segues into the very H&O-sounding "Disappointed," and then into the loping ballad "But Not for You," which features some stately grand piano and a soaring bridge. These three songs set the mood perfectly, bringing in slick pop sounds while folding them into the sound they've established over a long, brilliant run of recordings. The rest of Commontime is also very '80s pop-influenced, with all sorts of odd sonic tricks and smart musical bits added in to keep things weird while the drums lead the charge as usual. The brothers remain masters of arranging and choosing exactly the right instrument for each part of each song. Tracks like the rambling prog rock epic "Trouble at the Lights" show how well they can stretch out and do some serious sonic exploration, while the relatively sparse, Steely Dan-funky "It's a Good Thing" is proof that they don't need to lay it on thick to create something masterful. That song also does impressive things with the vocals, chopping and mixing them into a brightly shimmering brew, and featuring female singers for the first time. The entire album is full of the kind of brainy, hooky songs the brothers have made their staple, with just enough alteration and innovation to make it stand out from Plumb and the recordings that came before. The addition of simple pop elements to Commontime and the fact that the Brewis brothers manage to keep cranking out music this intelligent and flat-out fun to listen to without ever having the slightest dip in quality, makes it one of their more interesting and rewarding efforts in a long career fully stocked with each. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2013 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 24, 2015 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 3, 2020 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 1, 2012 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 11, 2018 | Memphis Industries

Alternative & Indie - Released February 1, 2012 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 11, 2018 | Memphis Industries

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 25, 2018 | Memphis Industries