Posts Tagged ‘Field Mouse’

Rising from the ashes of Brooklyn’s Grooms, Activity tread a similar dark, unsettling groove with krautrock rhythms, slashing guitars and creepy, surreal atmosphere. “Unmask Whoever” is doppelganger music for a parallel universe. This supergroup featuring members of Grooms, Field Mouse, and Russian Baths. Produced by Jeff Berner of Psychic TV. Mastered by Heba Kadry, known for her work with Bjork, Slowdive, Deerhunter, Japanese Breakfast, Cass McCombs, et al. Activity are an avant four-piece featuring Travis Johnson, and drummer Steve Levine, both from the band Grooms, bassist Zoë Browne from Field Mouse, and guitarist Jess Rees from Russian Baths. Their debut forms a casually menacing framework for lyrical themes of paranoia, exposed character flaws, and the broader human capacity for growth when an ugly truth is laid bare. Lead single Calls Your Name, establishes the record’s spectral aura with nauseated electronic bells, and a relentless Geoff Barrow-esque drum beat beneath a half-sung, half-spoken lyrics inspired by C.S. Lewis’s 1945 novel The Great Divorce.

In the novel, characters stuck in a grey, joyless conception of hell repeatedly deny opportunities to be taken into heaven, instead making excuses as to why they should remain in their embittered purgatory states. Allegorically, this speaks to the kind of opportunity for metamorphosis and positive change that’s possible when the depths of disillusionment are reached, an idea which permeates much of the album. Despite recurrent aches of discontentment, each track glows with radiant waves of catharsis while elegantly evoking jubilation and anguish within the same breadth, showing that the two are always around the corner from one another. For fans of Blonde Redhead, Clinic, Deerhunter and Broadcast.

“Earth Angel” is both sinister and sensuous and when singer Travis Johnson sings “I wanna fuck around” barely above a whisper, danger lurks.

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Brooklyn band Activity (which includes members of Grooms, Russian Baths and Field Mouse) released their terrific debut album, Unmask Whoever, back in March and have made a new video for one of its standout cuts, “Violent and Vivisect.” The video was shot in all four members’ homes during this time of coronavirus isolation and was put together mimicking the artwork for the album. “Our record coming out in the early stages of this quarantine put our release show and tour on hold,” says guitarist Jess Reese. “We had a lot of extra musical energy with nowhere to go. We can video chat to stay in touch, but playing tunes together over the web has technological limitations – the slightest time delay makes it impossible in real time. We play off each other, listening and responding as we go. It’s really illuminating how communicative and interactive we can be as musicians, even without using a single word. Anyway, we made this video. Each of us alone, in our apartments in New York and Philadelphia. Selfie mode engaged. Looking forward to a time when this is in our past and we can reconvene.” That video premieres in this post and you can watch that, and listen to the album,

Find yourself exhausted by the brand of vibe-y instrumentals and confessional song writing that permeates much of today’s popular music? You should check out the spooky avant-garde quartet Activity. Their eerie, minimal guitar-based orchestrations will drop you into an unearthly dwelling place, but their lyrics, often softly spoken or sung, are underscored by biting human truth. Activity features members of Grooms, Field Mouse and Russian Baths, and their debut album, Unmask Whoever, came out on March 27th via Western Vinyl.

Jess Zoë and Steve Travis  Debut album ‘Unmask Whoever’ out now on Western Vinyl released March 27th, 2020 ,

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Field Mouse are a quintet of singing guitarist Rachel Brown, guitarist Andrew Futral, bass player Saysha Heinemann, drummer Tim McCoy and keys, backing vocalist and general instrumentalist Zoë Browne. They’re joined on “Episodic”, their latest album, by guest appearances from Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Allison Crutchfield (Swearin’, Waxahatchee) and Joseph D’Agostino (Cymbals Eat Guitars).

Field Mouse deal is the sort of guitar-pop that has us reaching for words like glistening, shimmering and jangling. They’re a cool breeze on a hot summer’s evening, the first breath of air when you re-emerge from the ocean, what we imagine driving down a fast road in a convertible feels like, only we can’t drive and we’ve never been in a convertible. It is articulate, melodic alt-rock, with plenty of poppy hooks and in Rachel Brown, a true superstar front woman with a stunning, effortless vocal.

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Field Mouse are from Pennsylvania’s largest city, Philadelphia. With a population of 1.5million, Philadelphia is the fifth most populous city in the United States. Famously the city in which the Declaration Of Independence and the American constitution were signed, Philadelphia was briefly the capital of the US whilst Washington DC was under construction. Philadelphia is a famously medical city, being the site of the first specialist children’s hospital and first specialist cancer hospital in the country, and it is estimated that one in six American doctors are trained in the city. Like many large American cities, the diversity of Philadelphia has given it an eclectic and varied musical heritage, a major centre in the growth of hip hop, classical music and rock’n’roll; famous acts from the city are as versatile as Chubby Checker, John Coltrane and Kurt Vile.
Field Mouse were originally formed in 2010 by Rachel and Andrew, and they self-released their debut album, You Are Here that year. They then signed to Topshelf Records, who in 2014 released their second album, Hold Still Life. On their new album, Episodic, the band have for the first time written and recorded as a five piece, which came out last week again via Topshelf Records.

It’s almost a bit clichéd to say at this time of year, but they really are a spectacularly good summer band. Bright and breezy, they seem to fall effortlessly into perfect sun-drenched pop-punk and wistful indie-pop. Whether it’s the Jimmy Eat World meets Rilo Kiley alt-rock of The Mirror, the soaring Alvvays like Beacon or the vivid 1980’s pop of Out Of Content, they’re never anything less the perfectly produced and sublimely melodic.

Lyrically, the band have suggested that the songs explore both deteriorating relationships and sudden family illness, but they’re delivered not with any grand emotive gesture, they are more subtle and nuanced. Some tracks have a touched of the bruised romantic about them; Rachel coming across as a wide old head who’s seen all the signs but still can’t quite bring herself to give up on the fading embers of a relationship. The album’s quiet pain is bookended by its contrastingly tough and broken opening and closing lines. Opening track The Mirror begins by snarling, “what a way to say fuck off, through your teeth”, but by the time Out Of Context draws the album to a close, Rachel simply ends it by repeating a heartbreaking, heartbroken refrain, “it hurts, it hurts, it hurts.” It’s a record that feels deeply personal, but also winningly guarded, this is no plea for help, it’s just real life, in all its bruising reality.

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There are highlights throughout the record, but the exquisite The Order Of Things leaps out, it’s a perfect single, memorable and affecting. Rachel’s vocal is stunning, it’s just a beautifully controlled performance, she comes across as a very natural singer, and her control and tone are perfectly suited to their alt-pop sound. Lyrically it seems to be a call to arms, a plea for people to not give up on their dreams, “make the sound you hear in your head, even if it puts you in the ground.” Advice we whole heartedly agree with, on an album we can’t help but be thoroughly impressed by.

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Occasionally you want them to be less Field Mouse and more, if not as far as roaring lion, then at least angry ferret. You just want a bit more bite and a bit more bark to cut through the beautiful musical landscapes, which by the second half of the album have lost a bit of their charm. On another note militant Los Campesinos! fans (if such a thing exists) might be a bit miffed at how much of their track You! Me! Dancing! has been lifted into Field Mouse’s, A Widow With A Terrible Secret; a complete coincidence we’re sure.

While listeners have previously described Field Mouse’s sound as something akin to a shoegazey dream pop, “Meaning” marks a decided turn to less obscured realms, boasting 11 songs about finding meaning at the end of the world.

“A lot has happened in the three years since our last record came out. While there is far too much to say about it all in one place, we wrote this album anyway. What are the broad strokes, you ask? It’s more or less about the end of the world and all of the ways that it seems to be happening, but also about making peace with former selves and growing as a person despite the feeling of global entropy. Also: strange internet versions of our friends and selves, bouts of insomnia and picking through the dreams that followed, the importance of forgiveness, and creating meaning in a world that increasingly feels like total chaos. What is the function of art in a place like this? Is anything we make going to last? I am not sure, but here are 11 songs looking for the answer. What I do know is that art connects us to each other and to our feelings and our selves. It is a liferaft, and I hope that we can all continue to put it into the world, appreciate it, and share it indefinitely.”
Rachel Browne

“Meaning”, the third full length album by the Brooklyn– and Philly-based indie rock group Field Mouse, out August 16th, 2019 on Topshelf Records.

Rachel Browne – vocals, guitars
Andrew Futral – guitars
Saysha Heinzman – bass, harmonies
Zoë Browne – keyboards, harmonies
Anne Dole – drums

Episodic it might well be, but there’s a crushing sense of wholesomeness that makes this brilliant new record from Field Mouse such an emphatic and rewarding listen. Recorded in Philadelphia with Hop Along’s Joe Reinhart, and featuring guest turns from a host of heart-rock heroes, including Sadie Dupuis, Allison Crutchfield, and Joseph D’Agostino of Cymbals Eat Guitars, the ten track collection is perhaps one of the year’s strongest sets; in that it every second feels integral to the one that follows and the one that precedes, like removing one single brick could make the whole thing crumble to pieces.

Rachel Browne’s voice has always been a tool of formidable prowess, and it simply lets loose here, powering headlong through a series of songs that flip between heavyweight indie rock and ferocious pop-punk chant-alongs. Borrowing inspiration from all of those aforementioned guest stars, ‘Episodic’ is a melodic marvel and, while it’s been somewhat (unfairly) overlooked by the bigger names, it marks Field Mouse out as a chief operator in that big, bold world of left-field American indie rock that offers such a rewarding hand-to-hold in a year, and an age, when such things feel so fleeting. In short, a vital record from an ever-vital band.

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ANOMIE – ” So Long “

Posted: February 13, 2015 in MUSIC
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Field Mouse singer/guitarist Rachel Brown is prepped to release a solo EP under the moniker Anomie via our favourite record company at Father/Daughter Records.

This first single “So Long” is a good old alt-rock jam that sounds like it could be visiting us from the year 1996. You remember, back when snarling, feedback soaked alt-rock was ubiquitous and we were better for it? Anyways, I don’t know about you, but it’s sounding so perfect right now .

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I know we’re less than ten days into 2015, but I can safely say that Father/Daughter Records is already killing it this year. Earlier this week, a new song from newcomers Diet Cig that I haven’t been able to stop listening to since I first heard it. And now today, we can introduce another stellar EP that is coming out on the label next month by Anomie. The name might sound unfamiliar, but it’s the solo moniker of Rachel Browne, who’s the vocalist and guitarist of dream pop band Field Mouse. Anomie shows Rachel going in a new direction, and it’s one that I already can’t get enough of.

“So Long” is the first of four tracks on Anomie’s upcoming EP, and it rips and roars like nothing Rachel’s done before. There’s a visible urgency to the song, like Rachel has something she needed to get off her chest,  The following track follows suit until Rachel slows it down for the latter half of the album, exploring the range of emotions and feelings that come from heartache. The album officially comes out on February 10th but you can listen to “So Long” .
Rachel Browne on Anomie:
“I wrote a bunch of songs while hiding out last year between moving out of my home in New York and into a totally new life in Philadelphia. I wanted them to reflect the exact moments that I wrote them in, and not look too far ahead. I’d finished writing for my band Field Mouse’s album and had these other ideas that I needed to get out. Anomie was a name I had used since high school to file writing and art I’d been working on, and it seemed fitting to continue on with that in this project.”

HOLD STILL LIFE, the new album from Field Mouse is out now on Topshelf Records. Classic dreampop and Shoegaze sounds with a wall of Noise, and a pop melody with a sweet female vocal an influence of a little bit of Belly. Breeders and Lush.  The Four piece with songs written by Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral. To datethere have been two excellent single’s  “How Do You Know” and the excellent titled track “You Guys Are Going To Wake Up My Mom”,