Friday, 30 September 2011


Field Music are a very special band. I forgot about them for a while, and didn't really give 2010's Measure much attention for some reason, but when I finally got around to listening to it properly yesterday I remembered just how precious and unique they are: a truly artful proposition in the pseud-filled landscape of contemporary Brit art-rock.

They're quite prolific (perhaps overly so), so I would recommend some selective playlisting. The first four tunes on Measure are a good place to start:


[A rather endearing un-self-conscious anti-fashion stance is one of the hallmarks of the band. For this alone, they deserve a great deal of credit, as it's probably cost them dearly in terms of sales and acclaim in a fashion-oriented market. On the other hand, their anti-visual aesthetic has also arguably been the making of them -- a way of outlasting the "post-punk revival" scene they were originally lumped in with. Meanwhile, their more hyped, more Topman-friendly pals The Futureheads have not been nearly so lucky.]

[Great magic moment around 1:45 into the above.]

Field Music are the closest thing we've got to a US band like Dirty Projectors. It strikes me that this sort of wayward pop from the fringes of academia is one of the most worthwhile ways in which rock//indie/guitar music/white pop/whatever might evolve. You keep your head down, keep away from London, deal with the industry but keep it at arm's length, maintain a meaningful relationship with your city and its local scene, carry on making low budget videos, etc., and you just might make things work in the long-term.

No version on youtube unfortunately of my all-time favourite FM tune, "Alternating Current", so this other tune from Write Your Own History (a fantastic collection of early b-sides) will have to do:

I also love the motif of brothers. When pop gets the Partnership right (Beatles, Smiths, Oasis) it can lend a powerful anti-individualist emphasis to the music. That said, one of things most worth tracking down is 2008's The Week That Was album, the side project of elder brother Peter Brewis. Again, the best stuff on this isn't on youtube so this (still pretty excellent) single will have to suffice:

David Brewis's School of Language record was release around the same time. Though not as focused as TW2, it still had some belting stuff on it:

Anyway, don't say I didn't warn you.


Alex said...

Ha, a matter of hours and the first video is suspended thanks to the actions of EMI. Hope for the future of music indeed!

Alex said...

Even so, I think you may be right. Finding this music made my Saturday night after a jammy Newcastle win thanks to the best efforts of Mike Halsey!

Alex Niven said...

Yeah my connection is so shit I can't even play the videos on me own blog!

Apparently Wolves were unlucky. For what it's worth I hope you don't go down, even if I'm no McCarthyite.