A deliberately frothy take on an under-documented moment in US politics
The Week That Was
The Week That Was
Field Music always stayed within a milkman’s whistling distance of melody, so maybe that’s why Brewis has built his thumpy, string’n’piano-laden compositions from the soil upwards, painting layers of ‘Ashes To Ashes’-dusted synth creeps, Kate Bush ivory-punch dramatics and Sufjan Stevens-esque string-dives rather than banging out a lick on the acoustic and going from there. There’s no machine-gun fire of terrace singalongs; instead, he favours a deft, sometimes dark world that reveals more colour with every listen, like a peacock slowly unveiling its plumage. That’s not to say Brewis has made something penetrable only to those who can tolerate a Mars Volta gig without a fold-out chair. Although we’re not exactly dealing with anything along the lines of eight ‘Chelsea Dagger’s here, TWTW’s beauty is obvious when it first hits your ear – notably on should-be hit ‘The Airport Line’ and the TV On The Radio-siphoning opener ‘Learn To Learn’.
Adding to the lapel-grabbiness is the fact that it’s an album led by the drums, with Roxy Music-shorn snare echoes walloping through the album’s 33 minutes like the way a heartbeat thumps through a body from hair-end to toenail. And it always sounds urgent, while Brewis’ questioning vocal – pitched near Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes’ pleasingly nasal croon – adds further gravitas. So, don’t mourn the death of Field Music. Firstly, because, er, most of their number actually play on this album anyway. But more importantly because their demise has allowed Peter Brewis to open up his genius head and make one of the curveball LPs of the summer.
The second album from Piper and Skylar Kaplan is danceable, euphoric and pleasingly trippy
Mumford & Sons’ collaborative steps into world music aren’t embarrassing – but they’re not essential either
The iconic DJ Shadow returns with a mixtape-like album that frustrates as much as it fascinates
A Western that revolves around a trio of gun-wielding female leads, and has a clear and consistent feminist message