Comprised of its creative masterminds, sibling duo Peter and David Bewis and featuring the contributions Kev Dosdale, Andrew Lowther, Ian Black, Liz Corney, Andrew Moore, Damo Waters and a rotating cast of collaborators, Sunderland, UK-based indie electro pop act Field Music have developed an internationally recognized profile for a for a unique sound that’s comprised of interwoven harmonies, off kilter chord progressions, and a quirkily experimental yet approachable pop sensibility paired around infectiously catchy hooks and choruses.
Now over the past couple of years, Field Music had been on hiatus as the Brewis Brothers were busy with a variety of side projects and other creative pursuits. But they inevitably found themselves being drawn back to working together on their own original matter. As David Brewis explained in press notes, “As much fun as we might have had on our own or collaborating, we missed just spending time in the studio, the two of us, trying things out and playing together.” Interestingly, Commontime, the first Field Music album in several years was written and recorded over spontaneous bursts over a six month period in their Wearside, UK-based studio. And the material the Brewis Brothers wrote was focused around them playing and singing — while featuring contributions from original keyboardist Andrew Moore, Peter Brewis’ wife Jennie Brewis, vocals from the newest member of the touring band, Liz Corney and a variety of other collaborators. “We wanted to embrace being a duo, and perversely, that made us feel more comfortable about all of those conspicuous cameos,” David Brewis notes.
Reportedly, the album’s material is reportedly based around the passing of time — acquaintances coming and going, friendships drifting and diffusing over time, random snippets of the every day and real-life conversations between friends and acquaintances being endlessly replayed. In fact, Commontime’s first single “The Noisy Days Are Over,” was based on a conversation between two friends who are struggling to say goodbye to their boozy, hard-partying youthful days. Sonically, the song paired funky guitar chords, propulsive percussion, dramatic keyboard chords and the Brewis brothers’ ironic yet wistful vocals with warm and soulful blasts of saxophone and strings in a song that reminds me both of Superhuman Happiness‘ sophomore effort Escape Velocity (in particular, I think of “Drawing Lines” and “Super 8“) and of Talking Heads as all three are eccentric and expansive visions of what you can do with pop — while being approachable.
Commontime‘s latest single “Disappointed” begins with a David Bowie-like introduction of shimmering and soulful guitars and gentle drumming before turning into a bit of off-kilter funk with propulsive and hard hitting drums, a sinuous bass line, the Brewis Brothers’ ironically detached and yet wistful vocals, gorgeous piano keys and angular guitar chords; sonically, the song sounds as though the Brewis Brothers were drawing from fellow Englishman Tom Vek. Lyrically, the song focuses on an ambivalent and confusing relationship in which disappointment is bound to happen. Of course, interestingly enough, the song also suggests that disappointment may be part of the human condition; that all relationships have their disappointments — and it’s okay.
The recently released music video features the members of Field Music playing in an empty studio as confetti is dropped on them and bubbles are blown around them, and it features the band playing in trippy Matrix-styled stop motion.