Field Music’s (Measure) is one of those releases at the start of a musical new year that come out quietly though deserve to erupt like foam does on a bathtub. Being such a kaleidoscope of textures and such a versatile canvas of sounds, it is one of those works that, besides being a double album (and therefore a challenge to the listener), follow an upward pattern like a diagram of learning curves, only without the explosive climax and the crashing slamming. It opens up shyly, gets confident and alert on its own toes and then bursts into wings of indulgence. The fact is that this is Field Music’s third album (a band formed by brothers David and Peter Brewis, The Sunderland), which for a fairly not-so-commercially-successful band seems pretentious and unjustified. Yet these siblings have been playing for quite some time, including separate side projects. Their confidence in their ability and their focus on form rather than content create a brilliant surge of compelling music and a jungle of brilliant surprises.
Field Music (Measure) is an experimental project of aggressive nature, bucolic beats, whiffs of rocky funk and spells of melodic orchestration. Influences in their tunes are extravagantly clear yet so endearing. There is The Who in ‘Curves of the Needle’, The Beatles’ quirkiness in ‘Measure’, Queens of the Stone Edge’s harmonies in ‘You and I’ and their classic rock in ‘All You’d Ever Need To Say’, Fleetwood Mac’s blues in ‘Each Time is a New Time’ and the crystalline hand-clapping happy-go-lucky rhythms of The Feeling in ‘Them That Do Nothing’. With so much in store it would be too much to ask for more variation and adventure, and yet despite the brave strokes of the psychedelic and unpredictable ‘See You Later’, ‘Something Familiar’ and ‘It’s About Time’, this album calls for a little more of modern electronic nudges. All in all, however, there is no denying that Field Music (Measure) is not one album to calibrate for that lacking feature but for its neurotic, unforeseen and astonishing diversity.
Words: Liane Escorza