The mere mention of the term -double album’ would have most sane people running for the hills in fear of the overcooked and underwritten songs served up to them by artists that really should know better. There are, however, notable exceptions including this, the Brewis brothers’ first under the Field Music umbrella since 2007’s much lauded -Tones of Town’ – they have both released albums separately as School of Language and The Week That Was as a reaction to their idea that Field Music would be considered no more than a run of the mill indie band. Nothing could be further from the truth upon first listen to this record.
The off-kilter piano pomp of first disc opener -In the Mirror’ is indicative of the aural delights that follow – lush vocal harmonies, arrangements that are suitably complex and instrumentation that suggests that less is definitely more all lend themselves to the perfectly condensed pieces of alt-pop that make up this record. The introduction of strings on -Measure’ add another vibrant colour to the band’s sonic palette but they are used sparingly so as not to detract from the overall strength of the songwriting.
Elsewhere, proto-funk riffs nestle in nicely beside deft touches of percussion on the locked-in groove of -Let’s Write A Book’ and -Curves of The Needle’ showcase a more introspective side of the band, indulging in a spot of almost 70’s rock balladry while staying on the right side of cheesiness or pastiche. The gorgeous, picked guitar-led -Precious Plans’ is a standout with cello underpinning the plaintive vocals before the song opens up with further injection of strings.
Ending with an almost ten minute instrumental suite -It’s About Time’, it’s safe to say the Brewis’ have proven to themselves and the public at large that they can never be labelled just an indie band – the invention, melody and warmth of this record could never be matched by any old three chord wonders. Let’s hope they’re in it for the long run this time.
Field Music play Crawdaddy, Dublin on the 5th of March and The Pavilion, Belfast on the 6th.