We guess you can either write tunes to make money or write what you feel you need to, sod the market and keep your self-respect. Field Music are in the latter camp; from what we can gather brothers David and Peter Brewis make minimal money from their music but have accumulated a back catalogue to be proud of. In 2012 they told the Guardian they made “five grand a year” from the band; they’ve recently being evicted from their own studio.
This is another highly accomplished and slick album, and yet another we can’t warm to; we can tell why they are not playing big venues, despite their impressive musical chops.
If you don’t know, they play complex tunes that are melodic (Steely Dan are often cited) but jerky and quirky (think XTC), with time changes and shifts and all kinds of musical gymnastics. As well as the bands mentioned, it reminds us of seventies melodic prog bands, all cleverness and virtuosity; the ones punk came along to get rid of. In a just world, Field Music would be as successful as someone like The Beautiful South; equally we can see why they are not, it’s just too eclectic for mass appeal.
As well as the standard electric instruments they throw in stuff like flutes, violin and a choir; all very impressive. We feel bad even taking their review copy given their impecunious state; if at least a couple of you could buy it we’d feel better.