# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Field Music - Tones of Town

  by Andrew Hare

published: 26 / 1 / 2007

Field Music - Tones of Town
Label: Memphis Industries
Format: CD


Flawed, but also quaint and eventually rewarding art pop on second album from Sunderland trio, Field Music

'Tones of Town', the second proper full length from the Sunderland trio Field Music, sees the group exploring the artier side of art pop. Time signature changes, seemingly inchoate vocal phrasing, and awkward arrangements punctuate the album. The biggest misconception about the group is how they are often lumped into crowded indie pop genre. Touring with the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Architecture in Helsinki only adds to the deception. The truth is that if one is looking for a straight forward no-holds-barred hook filled indie pop they are likely to find 'Tones of Town' disappointing and paltry compared to the aforementioned heavyweights of the twee-inspired set. Once preconceived notions are set aside however, the record unravels slowly, methodically, and often impressively. ‘In Context,’ is the most straight forward pop-rocker, a song that subverts the 3 minute jangle pop formula into a amalgamation of call responses falsettos, baroque flourishes, and a melodious running guitar lines that show a nod to their more post-punk influences. Similarly songs like ‘Closer at Hand,’ and ‘A House is Not a Home’ work well as pieces that hint at a larger indie parlance before revealing more experimental idiosyncratic musical structures that push the songs into unfamiliar, albeit less catchy territory. In fact the songs that work least on the album are the ones that seem to be musically conflicted. ‘Sit Tight,’ and ‘Tones of Town,’ fall short of the New Pornographers tight constructed melody playbook, while the more experimental breaks in the songs seem both out of place and boring. Field Music’s rejection of the typical verse-chorus-verse structure is mostly refreshing but on songs like ‘Give It Lose It Take It,’ the meandering nature can leave the listener without a map which can invoke a journey that proves lacklustre instead of adventurous Lyrically the album seems to be vignettes from the drudgery that comes with the working hipster life, that many young people find themselves falling into sometime during their 20's. This newly disillusioned working class can relate to Peter and David Brewis’ forlorn yet simplistic lyrics. "You work hard get paid/ The moment’s passed you turn in bed" might seem a trifle cliché, but that line in ‘Kingston,’ is far more excusable than their liberal use of oooohs and ahhhhs which continually show up in place of more interesting content. Despite its occasional lyrical and musical missteps, 'Tones of Town' can be a quaint and rewarding gem of art pop that can be appreciated more and more with each listen. A band that proves on their second LP to be more XTC than Belle and Sebastian

Track Listing:-
1 Give It, Lose it, Take It
2 Sit Tight
3 Tones of Town
4 A house is Not a home
5 Kingston
6 Working To Work
7 In Context
8 A Gap Has Appeared
9 Closer at Hand
10 Place Yourself
11 She Can Do What She Wants
12 Outro

Band Links:-

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


Interview (2015)
Field Music - Interview
Owen Peters goes to the cinema in Belfast, watching 1929 silent film 'Drifters' in order to track down Mercury Award nominated-band Field Music

digital downloads




A House is Not a Home (2007)
Catchy, but all too brief debut single from their 'Talk of the Town' alnum for Sunderland trio Field Music
Write Your Own History (2006)

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors