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Field Music (Measure)

Field Music

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Formed: Sunderland, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Hailing from Sunderland, England, indie/art rock trio Field Music consist of siblings Peter and David Brewis as well as founder/director Andrew Moore (who departed after the recording of Tones of Town). Their colorful blend of Beach Boys melodies filtered through a post-rock aesthetic has drawn comparisons to the New Pornographers and the Futureheads. Drummer Peter Brewis was a founding member. Their self-titled debut was released in 2005 on Memphis Industries Records, followed by Write Your Own...
Full Bio
Field Music (Measure), Field Music
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