Open Here by Field MusicRelease date: February 2, 2018
Label: Memphis Industries
You can go on and constantly pick and choose as many influences as you wish with Sunderland wonder brothers Peter and David Brewis and their Field Music, but in the end what you will get is – Field Music. Two years after their last album, and the sixth one since they started out, and Open Here brings no changes, at least in two respects. First of all, you can still count the Brewis brothers influences and get short of fingers to do so. And second of all, it still definitely sounds absolutely great!
Younger (or at least, a bit younger) listeners will certainly catch the second phase XTC connection (throughout the album) and since these guys are from north of England the soul inclinations of somebody like Prince (try ‘Share a Pillow’ in that respect. But then you get another soul and harmony vocals fan like Todd Rundgren, and sophisticated pop purveyors like Steely Dan and 10cc. For those that still remember the Sixties beyond The Beatles, (and of course, they’re here too, like in the shades of Eleanor Rigby title track), Field Music bring back the guys that the term Baroque pop was first connected with – The Left Banke, all harmonies, and strings.
The thing though with being influences with other music and not fall flat on your back is that you have to know it really well and you really have to have a feel to make it into something that is really your own. And as with their previous efforts, Field Music do so, with Open Here even more so.
This time around though, they add yet another link to Steely Dan and 10cc, and that is the quality of their lyrics. Taking a good stare at all the crap that hit them, both personally and socially, the Brewis boys have packaged some serious words into their upbeat, poppy psychedelia: “Don’t you worry I will be fine with the knife at my neck and my very last dime / I got a job in an office block with the swish canteen and an Oxbridge tie,” they sing in ‘Goodbye To The Country’. The usual method of coating a bitter pill into something ‘sugary’ works every time.
What is certainly a particular trait of this album are the intricate string and woodwind arrangements courtesy of some great collaborators. But it is Peter and David Brewis, that shines throughout with their compositional and lyrical skills, bringing us again another psychedelic pop delight.