Field Music

The core of Field Music revolves around two brothers, Peter and David Brewis, so when Commontime gets abstract, and the key changes happen almost spontaneously, you get a better feeling for why the seamlessness of it all seems organic, even after a string of releases over the years. A whole gang of various musical raconteurs fill in the voids of the album that you can pre-order prior to its Feb. 5th release. What transpires is a fourteen track world that puts electronic subgenres into a melting pot and stirs continuously.

It’s nothing new for Field Music to want to stay a step or two ahead of the curve. When the album opens, a brief battle cry begs you to the dance floor with “The Noisy Days Are Over.” There are some hints of Architecture in Helsinki mixed with warbled neo disco funk. And the screeching psych wave horns are there in a Deerhoof-esque manner to keep the beat and momentum going. Pianos and horns have the disco ball turning until the aftermath that follows on “Disappointed.” You think there’s a building strut of confidence, but you’re in for disappoint if you’re looking for something more than a fling or someone who isn’t flippant on this glow wave track.

For a band that’s been around for a while, Commontime feels like a microcosm for what has become their calling card – unexpectedness. “But Not for You” is a dark carnival fancied with falsetto, while “Don’t You Want to Know” has funk that fades into a muffled electronic state with lyrics that teeter between the question of whether it’s all a metaphor or personal experience. And a post wave robotic jerkiness is present on album standout “I’m Glad” that includes a bit of nod-and-wink lyricism as “don’t it feel good” is sung to a borderline spastic declaration of sticking to your truth.

Commontime is interestingly, or arguably, depending on your perspective, an album that builds towards a stronger B-side. “Trouble at the Lights” shows dalliances with piano pop that gets hooked right back into a sludgy electro groove. But it flirts with a tempo adjustment before making a full commitment to an Act II. The music boxtronica on “They Want You to Remember” delves into a mannerly, late 19th century unveiling party where danger escalates towards a cliffhanger. However, you blink during the free fall only to open your eyes to 80s night at the tropicana disco in town. A twilight disco track, “It’s a Good Thing” plays out where only a few people are at the club, but the DJ is still feeling it.

One of the coolest tracks that shows the twists and turns of the album exceptionally well is “Indeed it Is,” which is like facing an early 90s video game boss replete with the twittery whistles and 2D battle action and movement. This is offset by the big stretch and slow motion atmosphere of “That’s Close Enough for Now.” It’s a bit playful, like the opening montage of a musical or ballet, but you can rest assure that it all comes full circle, and the psych realm returns, once “Stay Awake” closes the album. You don’t want to doze off, and you try to enjoy the moment and glory of it all as the perfect ending to a trippy party winds down. Joey Smith