Field Music - Commontime
Progressive Rock / Art Rock
I have a soft spot for Field Music, the art rock band based out of Sunderland, UK, as I spent a portion of my time at university in and around Sunderland for a time, and that city isn’t particularly renown for its music scene. Ostensibly run by two brothers, Peter and David Brewis, Field Music have been releasing workmanlike progressive indie rock for the better part of a decade. Influenced by the likes of middle-era Genesis and Steely Dan, their newest record, Commontime, is possibly their strongest yet. Opening track The Noisy Days Are Over is about as good a song as the band has ever conceived, riding a funky backbeat and bassline and incorporating excellent vocal harmonies and horn solos. Whereas in the past the brothers’ penchant for jittery art rock occasionally resulted in difficult songs without much in the way of listenability, here they fully embrace their pop side while keeping the song arrangements stuffed with forward-thinking percussion, off-kilter vocal melodies, and spastic guitar riffing. The drums, as always, are a highlight, and are often just as much of a lead instrument as the guitar or vocals. For fans of adventurous indie rock.