Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Field Music (Measure)

I've just reviewed the actually-very-good new album from Field Music, who I've always admired rather than loved, for Middle Boop. It reminds me a lot of Of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping, had Kevin Barnes reined in his glut of ideas and actually managed to stay focused long enough to avoid flying off on random tangents. This, of course, is a good thing. Oh, and the album artwork is lovely as well.

"It seems that pop has always been defined by the seemingly irreconcilable tension between its makers’ restless quest for immortality and their music’s fundamentally ephemeral nature. Yet at its basest level pop music aims to freeze-frame a moment in time – a moment when its creators will forever be wrinkle-free and that song means as much as it ever can, or will. The song itself should be the immortal medium, remaining identical long after the people who sired it have slipped off this mortal coil. The very essence of the ‘rock star’ is flawed – if your music really matters it will outlive you, and the fountain of youth will preserve a memory as fleeting as the period when Dorian Gray saw his true reflection in a portrait.

Fatalistic? Sure, but this undeniable truth is what lends those fleeting moments such gravitas. Take Field Music’s closest contemporaries and sometime bandmates, The Futureheads, who in a dizzying twist of luck (or fate) managed to craft a perfect pop album first time round, and since have suffered at the hands of the law of ever-diminishing returns. So in some ways you’d expect the same fate to have befallen the brothers Brewis – they write guitar songs with perfectly executed triple-layer harmonies; Beach Boys, Beatles and post-punk influences present and correct Saah. Undeniably pop musicians in every way then. So why is it that three albums down the line they remain as difficult to fathom as ever – and all the more rewarding for it?

Review up here.

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