I really love the sound that PLAZA are unleashing into the world. It’s part indie rock, but there’s also an intricate guitar element that’s often labeled as mathematical rock. For my two cents, the band lives somewhere in between the space left by Foals and Field Music, using these sounds to craft hooks in a more artistic manner. No exact word on a full length, but this new single will be available over the weekend. It’s not your average fare, and I’m definitely down with that.
It’s hard to pass up a Field Music track, even with all the great tunes that made their way into the world yesterday. The vocal performance alone looks back to classic club hits, soaring high above the mix. Still, bubbling just beneath is a rad little bass groove that seems ever-present with the band’s work. I think the one thing that sticks out the most for me is that the song seems less-frantic than some of their previous efforts, just fulfilling the promise of great pop music. Can’t wait until their new record, Commontime, comes out on February 5th via Memphis Industries.
I don’t think there are too many bands that sound anything like Field Music, at least not in the modern landscape. Every time they release something, I’m pleasantly surprised by the influences working in their tracks, and the latest single is no different. They definitely apply a usage of groovy/funky bass lines, contrasted against tight angular guitar work and gang vocals; this track even has a nice little horn solo in its midst. They’ve titled their new record commontime, and it looks to have a release date early on in February of 2016 via Memphis Industries.
Here it is. I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list. We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math. What albums did we love when they came out? Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes. I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening. There’s no disclaimer here. We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.
One of my favorite acts over the last few years has been Field Music, as well as the various bands that have been spawned from the group like The Week That Was. They always have a way of manipulating their musical work, and often play with the vocal registry in order to create intense rhythmic emotions. As me near closer to the release of their latest album, Plumb, more songs are coming out our way, and this one just hit today (via RS). It’s been a slow day so I thought I’d toss it up to you folks, see how you like it. The new album hits stores on February 21 via Memphis Industries.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/04-A-New-Town.mp3]
Download: Field Music – A New Town [MP3]
It’s time again to turn the music down and put on your art-critic monocles and top hats. Yes, today is the day we judge 2010 releases strictly on their visual packaging aesthetics as opposed to their auditory aptitude. It’s also a way to highlight the ‘other’ artists who have created the artwork and often don’t get the credit besides a sub-par blurb in the liner notes. 2010 was filed with beautiful artwork and it has been a struggle to dwindle them down to 5, but alas, my favorites are to be found below. Just like last year, I’m looking at the entire package; composition, balance, tone, meaning and originality. Use of text is not necessary as we saw last year, but when it is used, it must compliment the piece as a whole. I don’t claim to be an expert, but when looking back through this year’s album artwork, here are the ones that caught my eye.
|Date||Wednesday, September 29th|
|Tickets||$10 from Ticketweb|
Field Music is a band from England who’ve been putting out some significantly creative music over the last several years. Their first album, Tones of Town, has a little bit more of a pronounced sharp edge, but they completely went off into the realms of exploratory post-punk with their latest record, Measure. Honestly, had they not been smack in the middle of the Pavement and GBV shows, then this would have been the show of the week, but it very well could still be–these cats are that good. You will also be able to see Zorch and Gentlemen Rogues; each no slouch in their own right. So, if you can’t make it to other shows this week, sell your 30 Seconds to Mars tickets and go see these bands![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Measure.mp3]
Download: Field Music – Measure [MP3]
The Brewis brothers have just returned from their brief hiatus, which featured several decent albums by their respective projects (School of Language and The Week That Was). But, as they’ve reunited with Field Music, they present the masses with Measure; it’s a burdensome album that takes twenty songs and goes beyond the 70 minute mark.
It becomes apparent that the group hasn’t strayed too far from their staccato style prog when you first press play. The piano even has a stabbing sound to it, albeit one surrounded by various layers of texturizing. This will ultimately be the story of this album, it’s the inclusion of textures and layering that fleshes out Measure. Some listeners will see them as sort of a British version of Pinback. Both bands operate on these mathematical constructs, as if each instrument has been placed into the stero by way of equation rather than heart (that’s not to say I don’t like that about them).
Unlike some of their brethren in The Futureheads or Maximo Park (bands who’ve joined the group in the studio and on the stage), the one thing that doesn’t push this record forward is that it does seem so calculated. You can cruise through the first five songs until you land on “Effortlessly,” which is the first song that seems to really draw you into the record itself. Then you sort of wander back and forth through meandering instrumentation until you hit “You and I,” the tenth track. Perhaps the slow-core tempo is really the breeding ground for inspiration here because the lacking of pace in this number is what makes the jump in the volume during the chorus seem to emphatic.
As a fan of the band, Measure is still really hard to follow along all the way until the end. Like Sufjan when he released Illinoise, this whole thing will sort of wear you down; it’s just too long for a modern listening experience (that’s a whole other issue). Formulaic rock is great, and there are a lot of incredible little moments throughout the whole affair, but you have to recall be on your game as a listener to take this whole thing in one sitting. Try as I might, and I’m a fan mind you, I couldn’t get through it all at once. Songs bled into one another, and the larger idea of the record sort of faded away.
But, you can take a different approach, one that will reward you. Listen, at first, in brief sittings. Take three or four songs at once, then pause and reflect. “Measure” your thoughts, if you will. Might I suggest starting at “First Comes the Wish,” which just happens to be one of the stronger songs. Start here, then go forward two song, then maybe skip around. Although I like the record a lot from this point until the end. In pursuing a different listening experience for yourself, you will define this album on your own terms. It will reveal itself to you in an entirely different manner than perhaps it did me. This way, you won’t be worn down or burdened by the large undertaking.
Taken in one sitting, this album bleeds together, which makes the formulaic sound a little weaker than Field Music intended. But, if you can move in and out of the record, finding your own passage through Measure, then you will be rewarded, as the group has cleverly constructed a piece of art that deserves your deconstruction.
So the owners of Urban Outfitters may not like gay people, but they do have decent tastes in music, at least the people who run their promotions do. So we caught ourselves a free sampler from Urban that has tons of great artists on it like Field Music and Local Natives. Get your hands on the free sampler HERE.
It’s hard knowing who to follow in this group, as the members of Field Music also represent School of Language and The Weeks that Was. So, when news came that Field Music had new tunes to offer up on their web site, of course we jumped at the chance to get our hands on these songs. You can do it yourself by heading to the band’s web site, or just borrow one from us.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Measure.mp3]
Download: Field Music – Measure [MP3]