Field Music are a group that consists of Sunderland favourite musical brothers Peter and David Brewis. They are back with their sixth album, Open Here.
Over thirteen years and six albums, Field Music have managed to carve out a niche where all of their own sounds can find a place. They have been producing alternative pop music with an attitude that, it can, and should be as glorious as it wants to be. ‘Time in Joy’ is the opening track and the lead single. It features a full six minutes welcome and unlike anything else on the album. It explodes with a wonderful laid back groove completes with strange brass, swirling wonderful flutes, added with a rubber-like bassline.
However, the rest of the album is made up with tracks mostly running under or around three minutes. The band are have been able to create snappy playful tracks with a variety of sounds that tease and temp the ear. ‘Count it Up’ for example, is a song about different methods of car travel and choosing your choice of clothes. It’s about modern living and also displays the bands slightly bonkers approach to the strange pop-music subject matter.
The album is made up of short little ditties. These sounds are complemented with glorious strings, which provide an orchestral sound yet delivered with their playful abandon. The new single ‘Share a Pillow’, is the second single that starts big. It has throwbacks to a silky sound that has echoes of Elvis Costello and Roxy Music in its glamour that it portrays. The horn section drives the track in this short, but funky, bouncy little number. This captures the movement of the band as they explore wider and more freedom in their sound. These are further explored in tracks such as ‘Goodbye to the Country’ and ‘Checking on a Message’. The latter again take subject matters we are all familiar with and carves out playful harmonies about the impact a simple digital message can bring.
Peter Brewis explains that:
"People have a sort of romanticised idea of feelings that are painful or dark, that they are more meaningful, but when I’ve been through dark times, I find that there isn’t a lot of romance in that, that I function better and get more meaning out of positive experiences. With some things that have been happening personally to us recently, and obviously the things happening in the wider world, there’s a kind of defiance in playfulness, and that’s what we were trying to capture.”
The brother’s studio, on the banks of the river Wear, seems to have become a sanctuary away from everything political and personal; a cocoon of creativity. Here they can immerse themselves in a world of abject alternative pop wonder. The result is an album that sounds much bigger and grandiose than anything they have produced before.
They have recently announced a series of UK & EU shows for 2018. The dates include special nights at the Barbican, London and The Northern Stage, Newcastle with strings, horns, woodwind and assorted percussion.
Find out more about Field Music, here.