Field Music: Commontime

Two brothers and one hell of a band, Field Music has been releasing music for more than a decade now. The UK based band’s music is distinctively poppy indie rock –a slew of well played instruments capture the mood just right as the vocals give the songs that extra little something. Field Music’s latest album, Commontime is a fantastic addition to the band’s collection. The album not only showcases the band’s talents, but more so stands out as a fantastic early release for 2016.

Commontime is nothing short but groovy. Energetic synthy jams mixed with some catchy guitars makes for a great foundation. Meanwhile, the brothers take lead on the vocals and create an intricate sound. The combined efforts of brothers and band make for one of the most chaotically enjoyable listens. Furthermore, while the majority of the 14-album track is a synth-laden wonderland, Field Music manages to add a few twists. If the first half of the album doesn’t work for you, the latter definitely will.

Field Music’s Commontime begins with the poppy tune, “The Noisy Days Are Over.” The percussion and guitar are clean, keeping a steady rhythm as the vocals carry an 80’s reminiscent melody. It’s a fairly minimalistic song (outside a gnarly good saxophone solo) compared to the rest of the tracks, but it’s a great way to ease into the album. At this point, Field Music is almost reminiscent of Yacht in style. The next track, “Disappointed,” is ever so slightly slowed down, more bassy, but still filled with energy from the start. There’s a robust amount of voice –keys and a more rambunctious percussion keep the song feeling full. The vocals become almost more soulful. It’s danceable and catchy. Field Music has fantastic execution from the start –and then things change a bit.

Around the halfway point of Commontime, the band tosses in a few special treats. “Trouble at the Lights” is more psychedelic to say the least. The song starts dark, almost ambient. The vocals sound so much more solemn –drained out and dead. Then a quick crescendo, and the guitar comes along. It’s a little grungy, maybe reminiscent of some krautrock, and certainly very intense. To really seal the deal, Field Music tosses in a bit of a quick guitar jam. It’s nothing too showy, but the meditative repetition and hard rock sound really show the variability of the band. Then the transition to the next track. “They Want You To Remember,” is awkward, off-key, esoteric performance. The song is simple enough and features an agile vocal melody. It’s all a great display of Field Music’s Talent.

It’s easy to like something and get away with it, but having to explain why you dislike something can be difficult. Should there be a dissenting opinion, it may have a pretty tough time digesting Commontime –it’s a pretty solid listen. With that said, it’s not going to be for everyone, but it’s hard not to get into the incredibly funky melodies. Every line is composed so well, it’s great.

Towards the end of Commontime we get the acoustic track, “That’s Close Enough For Now.” It’s creative and features a variety of percussive voices. The vocals are fun and seem to dance their way into your ears. There’s something sincere about the whole track and it’s a beautiful closer.

Field Music’s Commontime is great. If you’re a sucker for poppy lines and creative use of instruments (as well as some phenomenal vocals), the album is more than just worth a listen –it’s worth many listens. The songs will win your heart and get you jamming along almost instantly.

Rating: 8.5/10

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