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Field Music - Open Here (Album Review)

Friday, 09 February 2018 Written by Helen Payne

That the Brewis brothers are now fathers to young children is evident on ‘Open Here’, and parenthood has given Field Music a brand new way of experiencing the world, its politics and its stereotypes.

‘Open Here’ is predominantly fun, frolicking through each track like a four-year-old desperate to get out and play. The album’s warm, welcoming opener, Time in Joy, sounds like everything an ornate art-pop band should be: the soundtrack to a Mario Brothers platform game and an outtake from a Fascination-era Human League session. 

But this joviality is contrasted - and only just complemented - by the album’s lyrical analysis of a society in turmoil. Checking On a Message, for example, explores the dread accompanying any number of political votes gone awry in recent times.

Despite sounding like it could have been taken from Steely Dan’s back catalogue, its one-two combination of blues guitar riffs and a brass section paves the way for melodic vocals that wait up all night to hear the result of the Brexit referendum, “hoping it isn’t true”.

The brothers tie up their anxiety at recent political turbulence by exploring how to raise a child in a world like this. The answer? Be who you want, little ones. No King No Princess defies gender stereotypes by directly addressing the children: “You can dress up how you want  And you can do the job you want  And you can do it.”

It is important, too, not to forget structural privilege. Count It Up inspects modern day entitlement and instructs us to count our blessings and use them to change things. Brewis cries: “If your body makes some kind of sense to you count it up / Then use the breath you have left to say something that matters.” There’s incongruity, though, between the ‘80s synth patterns and 2018 problems, accentuating further the difficulties in raising kids in a totally different place to the one in which you grew up.

By interspersing cheerful, recreational numbers like Gone To The Country and the strutting-its-stuff Share a Pillow with calmer moments such as Front of House and the title track, the band manages to marry the contrasting styles of frivolity and heaviness. It’s not always plain sailing, whether that’s at bath time, bed time, or referendum time. Another in a long list of albums reacting to political upset, ‘Open Here’ does so with a fresh lens, highlighting the worries of raising children in the here and now while wrapping them up neatly in a bright, shiny post-pop ribbon.

Field Music Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu March 08 2018 - BRIGHTON Komedia
Fri March 09 2018 - BRISTOL Lantern
Sat March 10 2018 - SOUTHAMPTON Engine Rooms
Sun March 11 2018 - EXETER Exeter Phoenix
Thu March 15 2018 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2 Birmingham
Fri March 16 2018 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Sat March 17 2018 - GLASGOW Saint Luke's
Thu March 22 2018 - LIVERPOOL Arts Club
Fri March 23 2018 - SHEFFIELD Foundry, Sheffield
Sat March 24 2018 - NORWICH Waterfront Norwich
Sun March 25 2018 - LONDON Barbican Centre

Click here to compare & buy Field Music Tickets at Stereoboard.com.





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