Posts Tagged ‘Field Music’

The collected works of Peter and David Brewis

Field Music’s live performance at Tapestry Club, St Aloysius Church, Camden, February 2006. Recorded by Tom Goldsmith. Thanks to Barry Stilwell.
Released March 23rd, 2020

Britain’s Field Music (anchored by brothers Peter and David Brewis) announced a new album, “Making a New World”, inspired by the aftermath and repercussions of World War I, and shared its first single, “Only In a Man’s World.”Making a New Worldis due out January 10th, 2020 via Memphis Industries and features Field Music’s full live band in the recording sessions for the first time in a while. Check out the album’s cover art and tracklist, as well as the band’s upcoming tour dates, here. We’ll be playing both the new album in full and a set of what might loosely be termed Field Music classics . We’ve added in a show in Kendal, and  we are pleased to announce Emma Pollock, Rozi Plain and Tenement & Temple will be taking it in turn to join us for these shows

Making a New World began when the band performed two World War I-themed shows for England’s Imperial War Museum at their sites in Salford and London in January 2019. The basic tracks for the album were recorded the day after the London Imperial War Museum show. While the majority of Field Music’s studio work has been put together by Peter and David Brewis, the one-day session featured Field Music’s full live band (Liz Corney on keyboards, Kevin Dosdale on guitar, and Andrew Lowther on bass), with Peter and David on guitar and drums respectively.

This is the first album since 2007’s Tones of Town that could be considered more of a full band album.

A press release describes the themes and inspirations of the album in more detail: “Making a New World [is] a 19-track song cycle about the after-effects of the First World War. But this is not an album about war and it is not, in any traditional sense, an album about remembrance. There are songs here about air traffic control and gender reassignment surgery. There are songs about Tiananmen Square and about ultrasound. There are even songs about Becontree Housing Estate and about sanitary towels.”

The jumping off point for the Imperial War Museum performances was, as the press release explains, “an image, from a 1919 publication on munitions by the U.S. War Department, made using ‘sound ranging,’ a technique that utilized an array of transducers to capture the vibrations of gunfire at the front. These vibrations were displayed on a graph, similar to a seismograph, where the distances between peaks on different lines could be used to pinpoint the location of enemy armaments. This particular image showed the minute leading up to 11am on 11th November 1918, and the minute immediately after. One minute of oppressive, juddering noise and one minute of near-silence.”

David Brewis explains further in the press release: “We imagined the lines from that image continuing across the next hundred years, and we looked for stories which tied back to specific events from the war or the immediate aftermath. In writing these songs, we felt we were pulling the war towards us – out of remembrance and into the everyday – into the now.”

David also had this to say about “Only In a Man’s World” in the press release: “I found myself researching the development of sanitary pads – not a statement I’ve ever imagined myself making – and was surprised at how little the advertising material has changed in a hundred years. It’s still, ‘Hey Ladies! Let’s not mention it too loudly but here is the perfect product to keep you feeling normal WHILE THE DISGUSTING, DIRTY THING HAPPENS.’ And you realize that it’s a kind of madness that a monthly occurrence for billions of women – something absolutely necessary for the survival of humanity – is seen as shameful or dirty – and is taxed more than razor blades?! At every stage of making this song, I had to ask myself, am I allowed to do this? Is it okay to do this? And I cringed in the next room when I first showed it to my wife. But I think confronting my own embarrassment is a pretty fundamental part of what the song is about.”

Field Music’s last album was 2018’s Open Here. In May David Brewis released “45”, a concept album about President Donald Trump released under his School of Language solo side-project moniker. Meanwhile, in January Peter Brewis released You Tell Me, the self-titled debut album for his side-project You Tell Me (a duo with Sarah Hayes of Admiral Fallow).

Big news from FMHQ: We’ve accidentally made a new album – it’s called “Making A New World” and it’ll be out for your delectation in January 2020. And…err…it’s pretty much a concept album about the aftermath of the First World War. Wait! Come back! It’s not THAT kind of concept album! Honestly!

The songs grew from a project for the Imperial War Museum and were first performed at their sites in Salford and London in January 2019. The starting point was an image from a 1919 publication on munitions by the US War Department, made using “sound ranging”, a technique that utilised an array of transducers to capture the vibrations of gunfire at the front. These vibrations were displayed on a graph, similar to a seismograph, where the distances between peaks on different lines could be used to pinpoint the location of enemy armaments. This particular image showed the minute leading up to 11am on 11th November 1918, and the minute immediately after. One minute of oppressive, juddering noise and one minute of near-silence. “We imagined the lines from that image continuing across the next hundred years,” says the band’s David Brewis, “and we looked for stories which tied back to specific events from the war or the immediate aftermath. If the original intention might have been to create a mostly instrumental piece, this research forced and inspired a different approach. These were stories itching to be told.

The songs are in a kind of chronological order, starting with the end of the war itself; the uncertainty of heading home in a profoundly altered world (“Coffee or Wine”). Later we hear a song about the work of Dr Harold Gillies (the shimmering ballad, “A Change of Heir”), whose pioneering work on skin grafts for injured servicemen led him, in the 1940s, to perform some of the very first gender reassignment surgeries. We see how the horrors of the war led to the Dada movement and how that artistic reaction was echoed in the extreme performance art of the 60s and 70s (the mathematical head-spin of “A Shot To The Arm”). And then in the funk stomp of Money Is A Memory, we picture an office worker in the German Treasury preparing documents for the final instalment on reparation debts – a payment made in 2010, 91 years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed. A defining, blood-spattered element of 20th century history becomes a humdrum admi nistrative task in a 21st century bureaucracy.

We’ve done songs about ultrasound and about shooting yourself for the sake of art and about gender reassignment surgery and about Becontree housing estate. We’ve even done a party tune about sanitary pads, called Only In A Man’s World, which is now streaming in all of the usual places  (huge thanks to Lauren Laverne and BBC 6 Music for giving it its first airing this morning.) If you want Only in a Man’s World with a side order of facts about the invention of sanitary towels head on over to our YouTube now.

Only In A Man’s World is taken from the new Field Music album “Making a New World”, to be released on 10th January 2020.

Making a New World can be pre-ordered on limited edition signed red transparent vinyl, CD, cassette and download from our shop along with the first ever FIELD MUSIC MUG (which you can dry with the Open Here tea towel). The usual discounted pre-order bundles are available; just look at these beauties:

Tourdates : 9 Nov – Dundee, Neon at Night 01 Feb – Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery 21 Feb – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms 22 Feb – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club 27 Feb – Whitley Bay, Playhouse 28 Feb – Manchester, Dancehouse 29 Feb – London, EartH

The music of You Tell Me exists in this glorious place where several decades of British pop gently collide. That is to be expected considering the pedigree of the two singer/songwriters at the helm of this project. Peter Brewis is one-half of the flint-edged post-punk group Field Music, and Sarah Hayes has logged time in the glittering indie pop outfit Admiral Fallow and dabbled in traditional folk as a solo artist. Add in the detail that the pair met for the first time at a Kate Bush concert and the sound of You Tell Me may start coming into focus even before you get a chance to listen to their self-titled debut. The pair’s 11-song album weaves in and out of those varied sonic worlds with ease and wide-eyed joy, often grabbing little fragments into a lovely patchwork. Opener “Enough To Notice” layers the dreamy spirit of The Pentangle and their ‘70s psych-folk ilk with bubblegum pop, while “Water Cooler” and “Get Out Of The Room” imagines The Blue Nile’s sophisticated gleam meeting a hearty post-rock rumble.

There is a tendency within the running time of You Tell Me for the duo to maintain their cruising altitude for long stretches when they clearly have the abilities to hit the accelerator and soar. The languid pace that they lend to the majority of the songs here suits them just fine, but put up against the peppier numbers, you may long for a bit more variation.

At the same time, You Tell Me concocts such a spell with their debut that the journey will still delight and intoxicate.

You Tell Me’s debut album out 11th January

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The music of You Tell Me exists in this glorious place where several decades of British pop gently collide. That is to be expected considering the pedigree of the two singer/songwriters at the helm of this project. Peter Brewis is one-half of the flint-edged post-punk group Field Music, and Sarah Hayes has logged time in the glittering indie pop outfit Admiral Fallow and dabbled in traditional folk as a solo artist. Add in the detail that the pair met for the first time at a Kate Bush concert and the sound of You Tell Me may start coming into focus even before you get a chance to listen to their self-titled debut. The pair’s 11-song album weaves in and out of those varied sonic worlds with ease and wide-eyed joy, often grabbing little fragments into a lovely patchwork. Opener “Enough To Notice” layers the dreamy spirit of The Pentangle and their ‘70s psych-folk ilk with bubblegum pop, while “Water Cooler” and “Get Out Of The Room” imagines The Blue Nile’s sophisticated gleam meeting a hearty post-rock rumble.

There is a tendency within the running time of You Tell Me for the duo to maintain their cruising altitude for long stretches when they clearly have the abilities to hit the accelerator and soar. The languid pace that they lend to the majority of the songs here suits them just fine, but put up against the peppier numbers, you may long for a bit more variation. At the same time, You Tell Me concocts such a spell with their debut that the journey will still delight and intoxicate.

You Tell Me’s debut album out 11th January 2019

Casting Out Parts 2 and 3

Mercury Prize nominated brothers Peter and David Brewis bring to the table a cinematic score composed to accompany Scottish filmmaker John Grierson’s pioneering 1929 silent film Drifters, which followed fishermen in the harsh conditions of the North Sea. The concept was originally commissioned by Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival a couple of years back, and audiences can soon experience the accompaniment to the documentary live in cinemas around the UK. Alternatively just pop on this silver coloured LP and let Field Music’s two sides of rhythmic instrumental wash over you.

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On its own without the film it’s a very pleasant listen but obviously not up there with the proper FM albums.

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As if Field Music weren’t prolific enough creators in their own right, the Brewis brothers have also created a litany of excellent solo and side-projects as well. The latest one comes in the form of You Tell Me, a collaboration between Peter Brewis and Admiral Fallow member, Sarah Hayes. The pair met at a Kate Bush celebration concert, bonded over a shared love for Rufus Wainwright, The Blue Nile and Tortoise, and set about writing the songs that make up their debut album, out early next year on Memphis Industries.

This week ahead of the release, You Tell Me have shared their new single, Water Cooler, a track that, as Peter explains, is fairly self-explanatory, “it was intended to be a look at an inept office romance. I was literally imagining two office workers failing to talk to each other at the water cooler. No metaphors here”. Musically, the trademark Brewis rhythmic angularity is all present and correct, although it’s a more organic, less polished take on the sound. Much of You Tell Me’s debut album, and even their name, seems to deal with the idea of communication; conversations new and old, misunderstandings and shared moments of clarity. Now go make sure you stay hydrated, and if you happen to bump into your colleague on the way, you could try saying hello, if you want to, you tell us?

Brand new single from You Tell Me, taken from their self-titled debut album which is out 11th January via Memphis Industries.

Field Music return with their sixth album, Open Here. The two years since Commontime have been strange and turbulent. If you thought the world made some kind of sense, you may have questioned yourself a few times in the past two years. And that questioning, that erosion of faith – in people, in institutions, in shared experience – runs through every song on Field Music’s new album.

But there’s no gloom here. For Peter and David Brewis, playing together in their small riverside studio has been a joyful exorcism. Open Here is the last in a run of five albums made at the studio, an unprepossessing unit on a light industrial estate in Sunderland. Whilst the brothers weren’t quite tracking while the wrecking balls came, the eviction notice received in early 2017 gave the brothers a sense of urgency in the recording of Open Here. There probably won’t be many other rock records this year, or any year, which feature quite so much flute and flugelhorn (alongside the saxophones, string quartet and junk box percussion). But somehow or other, it comes together. Over thirteen years and six albums, Field Music have managed to carve a niche where all of these sounds can find a place; a place where pop music can be as voracious as it wants to be.

Taken from the upcoming album ‘Open Here’ (out 2nd February 2018) catch the band at , Nottingham, Rough Trade 7th February

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What a long, cold, lonely month January has been . very few gigs but some great music so things are looking up.
Sad to say that Anna Burch has been pipped to the post for album of the week. I have been so hyped for her debut album and it really doesn’t let you down, definitely someone you will be seeing a lot of this year. You will be buying this anyway so I went for something you might not know.

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Hookworms – Microshift

Microshift marks a seismic shift in the Leeds band’s sound, dynamic, songwriting and production, whilst still bearing all the ferocious energy, intricate musicianship and bruised but beautiful song-craft of the previous releases which have quietly made them one of the UK’s most revered young bands. This is the band’s third studio album technically but arguably the first in which the studio has been central to its creation.

Radiant, immersive and teeming with light, but still heavy and forceful – the music on Microshift acts as a very deliberate counter to some of the difficult topics the album’s lyrics address. Death, disease, heartbreak, body image and even natural disaster are all present here but the overall effect these songs achieve is euphoric catharsis.

Album packshot

Anna Burch – Quit The Curse

Originally from St. Joseph, Michigan, Burch later moved to Chicago to study cinema. She relocated to Detroit a few years ago and quickly immersed herself into the local music scene, and has been involved with acts like Frontier Ruckus and Failed Flowers. After learning the ins and outs of playing live and recording with various acts over the last several years, Burch found herself accumulating a growing amount of solo material. These songs, full of sincerity and undeniable depth, caught the ears of Collin Dupuis (Angel Olsen, The Black Keys) who mixed the tracks and helped develop the final product into her debut full-length album. The nine songs that comprise Quit The Curse come on sugary and upbeat, but their darker lyrical themes and serpentine song structures are tucked neatly into what seem at first just like uncommonly catchy tunes. Burch’s crystal clear vocal harmonies and gracefully crafted songs feel so warm and friendly that it’s easy to miss the lyrics about destructive relationships, daddy issues and substance abuse that cling like spiderwebs to the hooky melodies. The maddeningly absent lover being sung to in 2 Cool 2 Care, the crowded exhaustion of With You Every Day or even the grim, paranoid tale of scoring drugs in Asking 4 A Friend sometimes feel overshadowed by the shimmering sonics that envelop them.

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Field Music – Open Here

Field Music return with their sixth album, Open Here. The two years since Commontime have been strange and turbulent. If you thought the world made some kind of sense, you may have questioned yourself a few times in the past two years. And that questioning, that erosion of faith – in people, in institutions, in shared experience – runs through every song on Field Music’s new album.

But there’s no gloom here. For Peter and David Brewis, playing together in their small riverside studio has been a joyful exorcism. Open Here is the last in a run of five albums made at the studio, an unprepossessing unit on a light industrial estate in Sunderland. Whilst the brothers weren’t quite tracking while the wrecking balls came, the eviction notice received in early 2017 gave the brothers a sense of urgency in the recording of Open Here. There probably won’t be many other rock records this year, or any year, which feature quite so much flute and flugelhorn (alongside the saxophones, string quartet and junk box percussion). But somehow or other, it comes together. Over thirteen years and six albums, Field Music have managed to carve a niche where all of these sounds can find a place; a place where pop music can be as voracious as it wants to be.

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Kyle Craft  –  Full Circle Nightmare

Full Circle Nightmare Kyle Craft’s second album is entirely autobiographical. Sonically, thematically, lyrically, it’s a huge leap forward from his 2016 release. A straight-up rollicking rock’n’roll album, it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; from the bluegrass twang of Exile Rag, to the gothic style of Gold Calf Moan, it’s a timeless piece that could exist in any of the past five decades. In terms of contemporary peers, Craft likes to stay in his own lane. He’s an old soul who sticks to his tried and tested influences. The ironic thing is that Full Circle Nightmare sounds exactly like Kyle Craft’s America. That is what he’s built for us: the story of one man’s trials and tribulations to find his passion and voice for art and creativity in this vast opportunistic country. Where did he find it? Among the historic riches of America’s most honest sounds.

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Carlton Melton –  Mind Minerals

The new Carlton Melton album Mind Minerals is their first full length release since 2015’s widely lauded Out To Sea double opus, itself a languid drifting of drones and psychedically enhanced riffmongering. Sure, there’s been some long EP releases since.. Hidden Lights in 2017 (featuring the immeasurable drone sike float on Rememory) and Aground in 2016 (a companion, the Desert Island weather beaten psych-flow follow up to Out To Sea), now its time to soak up.. Mind Minerals. Mind Minerals finds Carlton Melton in fine fettle, all the songs were recorded and engineered at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Manley on September 3rd and 4th 2016 (except ‘untimely’ – recorded at the Dome by Brian McDougall), the studio setting suits them – a logical progression from a weekend’s recording out at the Dome. Under Manley’s watchful ear / eye, Carlton Melton have created a futurescape soundtrack.., a 3001 Space Odyssey. The drums are more pounding and direct than before, the constantly re-assuring bass creates a helping hand to propel you through the clouds of static and shards of electrifying guitar dazzling your horizon. Synths help soothe the sharp edges and lull you into some out of body experience whilst and orchestrated calamitous scree pulls you back…. This is a breathless, yet deep breathing album. It demands full immersion. Searing guitar piercing the drone with relentless power, the core trio of Carlton Melton; Andy Duvall (drums / guitar), Clint Golden (bass guitar), and Rich Millman ( guitar / synth), have some alchemical bond that’s helped them create a post-rock / psychedelic / freeform organic slab of American Primitivism / space drift , this is unashamed head-music from the melting pot of Northern California.. 5 decades ago this album would have been released on the ESP Disk Label or even Apple.. there would have been no helter skelter if the desert Hippies had locked onto these vibes, plug in, turn on, tune out..float free.. Carlton Melton can provide your own aural microdose to reset your Mind / Psyche!!

 

Peter and David Brewis, playing together in their small riverside studio has been a joyful exorcism. “Open Here” is the last in a run of five albums made at their studio, an unprepossessing unit on a light industrial estate in Sunderland. whilst the brothers weren’t quite tracking while the wrecking balls came, the eviction notice received in early 2017 gave the brothers a sense of urgency in the recording of Open Here.

The studio became a sanctuary away from everything political and personal, a cocoon of creativity. and conversely, making the album became an alternative way to connect to people, with a wide array of musicians invited to leave their mark, notably Sarah Hayes on flute and piccolo, Liz Corney on vocals, Pete Fraser on saxophone, Simon Dennis on trumpet and flugelhorn, a Cornshed Sisters choir and the regular string quartet of Ed Cross, Jo Montgomery, Chrissie Slater and Ele Leckie. the result is a record that is bigger in scale, grander than anything they’ve done before. David explains, “where commontime felt like a distillation of all of the elements that make up Field Music, this feels like an expansion; as if we’re pushing in every direction at once to see how far we can go”.

Album opener, Time in joy, Turns Dark Times into sparkling funk, and might even have earned another acknowledgement from a sadly-departed purple superstar in happier circumstances. Count It Up’s wry critique of privilege bounces along like an upside-down material girl. checking on a message could be on the apocalyptic party playlist the morning after any number of recent voting catastrophes. Peter says the song “is about being too confident that world events will go the way you expect them to. and then getting bad news from a mobile phone”.

wrestling with politics has gone hand in hand with wrestling with parenthood. if we can’t make sense of the world for ourselves, how do we do it for our kids? share a pillow is the eye-rolling, eye-rubbing product of one too many nights playing musical beds, turning the pitter-patter of tiny feet into a bludgeoning baritone stomp. no king no princess is a barbed two-fingered salute to gender stereotypes. David again: “my little boy was born not long before we started making Commontime and my baby girl was born just before we started making Open Here. people tend to ascribe every perceived difference between them to their gender. the ‘princess’ thing is so weird to me – it’s such a passive aspiration. i wanted to write a song for my kids which says you can throw all of those expectations out of the window if you want to.”

On a few tracks, the melancholy finds a way to seep through. front of house says a too-late goodbye to a good friend gone far too soon. daylight saving wistfully laments having the time to be a couple when you’re preoccupied with being parents. and then on the final song, find a way to keep me, an imploring whisper builds to a wild, hurtling clangour, with flute and trumpet and strings diving and trilling around each other. it’s the grandest music the brothers have ever made.

 

There probably won’t be many other rock records this year, or any year, which feature quite so much flute and flugelhorn (alongside the saxophones, string quartet and junk box percussion). but somehow or other, it comes together. Over thirteen years and six albums, Field Music have managed to carve a niche where all of these sounds can find a place; a place where pop music can be as voracious as it wants to be.

Take a listen to Time in Joy, the second song from our upcoming album Open Here.