Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Field Music

Field Music announced the release of new LP Field Music - Measure towards the end of 2009. At a time when people were either busy buying Best Of compilations for Dad’s Christmas present, looking into their crystal ball to 2010 or blowing the dust off the year’s releases and compiling endless lists, it seems to have been overlooked by the ever present hype machine. But theirs has always been a marginal existence, relying on discerning listeners to build a core fan-base willing to indulge experimentation and development as long as the hooks remained.

A chance listen to Marc Riley on BBC 6 the other day was all it took for the first tingles of curiosity to send me straight to my computer. The track I heard was called ‘Effortlessly’, a more aptly titled record I can’t imagine. Reminiscent of the Soft Boys in their Underwater Moonlight heyday and closer to the real spirit of ‘79 than anything White Lies, Editors or any other U2-aping, Rickenbacker-wielding second class post punkers can muster, ‘Effortlessly’ bathes in accented harmonies without pushing the regional thing, sticking close to the pop of XTC via the art-punk of Wire with its up front bass line and jarring guitar work outs.

You could almost say it’s uptight, but there’s something inherently danceable in the beat propelling the record toward the listener. I’ve managed to hear a few more tracks from the double LP; combining the uniformed precision-pop of groups such as New Order, with the loose flourish of progressive glam rockers Sparks, it sounds like the promise of ‘Effortlessly’ will be fulfilled. I’m just entering the honeymoon period with this song, you know, when you’re just familiar enough with a record that it sends shivers down your spine whenever your favourite guitar flourish or harmonies kick in…lovely. Check it out here for yourself.

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