Field Music have a habit of battening down the hatches and disappearing shortly after releasing a masterpiece. Following 2007’s superb record, ‘Tones Of Town’, the Sunderland duo turned down an arena support slot with Snow Patrol; uncomfortable with what it meant for the band, it took them almost four years to release a follow-up. In the meantime, however, both Brewis brothers released their own solo records: Peter as The Week That Was and David as School Of Language. With Field Music on a sort-of hiatus again following 2012’s ‘Plumb’, David has brought School Of Language back for a second album, ‘Old Fears’, to be released on April 7 through Memphis Industries.
‘Between The Suburbs’ is the record’s first single, and a far cry from the chattering grooves that permeated ‘Sea From Shore’. The drums stutter slightly out of step with the awkwardly jerking synth, while David’s fragmented lyrics hint at suburban school runs, dumbed-down culture and the economy’s unrelenting bite on his native north-east: “Related stories of petrol and paper/Pennies are pushed and trickle down stairs”. It’s anxious and tightly wound, perhaps an implicitly expressed concern at how polarised politics make victims of the gulf left in between.