“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong.
One thing you should know about me is that I’m an unapologetic lover of British pop (Britpop if you will). There’s something about the sheer musicality and sharpness that the country’s best bands have been producing since the Beatles came along that connects with me on a very deep level.
And for about the last five years, I can think of no better practitioners of this craft than brothers Peter and David Brewis. They’re more often referred to as Field Music, which encapsulates both the band they founded (along with Andrew Moore) in 2004 as well as some side projects they’ve released under different names. Without question, every album they’ve put out has been no worse than very good, and one of them is a bona fide pop classic.
So here you have it — ten tracks from the musical collective known as Field Music. Listen to them and I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
- “If Only the Moon Were Up” (from Field Music, 2005) — The first track from Field Music’s first album pretty much sets the tone for everything to follow. It’s fun, bouncy, and displays the group’s keen knack for melody and harmony. You can definitely hear strains of post-punk/New Wave bands like early XTC, which is never a bad thing.
- “Give It, Lose It, Take It” (from Tones of Town, 2007) — And here things get a little more hard-edged, but that delicious melodic sense is still there. Tones of Town was not only my favorite album of 2007, it might just be my favorite album from the first decade of the 21st century. If their debut was a bit restrained, they let it rip on this one.
- “She Can Do What She Wants” (from Tones of Town, 2007) — What’s that you say? You don’t think enough bands know how to just get down to business and play brilliant, straightforward pop? Sure they do.
- “Off and On” (B-side of “In Context”, 2007) — I love when bands totally change course in the middle of a song and kick it into high gear. This seems like a pleasant enough ditty until about halfway through, then it really takes off. Stick with it, you won’t regret it. (the song is available on Grooveshark, but unfortunately we were unable to find a YouTube link)
- “Disappointment ’99” (from School of Language, 2008) — This was David Brewis’s project under the School of Language banner. It’s cool to hear what he brings to Field Music, which seems to be the more traditional rockers. This is the best of the bunch.
- “Extended Holiday” (from School of Language, 2008) — Of course, this is a close second. Or hell, let’s say it’s tied for first. It kills me that these guys are a lot more popular than they are, but life is cruel sometimes.
- “Scratch the Surface” (from The Week That Was, 2008) — Not to be outdone by his brother, Peter Brewis released an excellent album of his own as The Week That Was later in ’08. It hearkens back to the textured, dark, pre-So albums from Peter Gabriel. This track is an absolute stunner and when you hear Field Music’s denser, more challenging work I would assume Peter Brewis is the source.
- “Them That Do Nothing” (from Field Music (Measure), 2010) — After a brief hiatus, Field Music the band returned in 2010 with a great double album. It’s a continuation of familiar Field Music sounds, but with a lot of interesting new twists. This, however, is nothing more than simple pop perfection.
- “Let’s Write a Book” (from Field Music (Measure), 2010) — Here’s one of those twists I was talking about. My wife described this song as “sexy,” and I tend to agree. It’s slinky and yet angular, a neat achievement. And it’s a cool, freaky video to boot.
- “Something Familiar” (from Field Music (Measure), 2010) — I have to include a third track from Measure. It is a double LP after all. This is a bit of a callback to “Give It, Lose It, Take It” so if you liked that song then this is a no-brainer.
So there you are. Ten songs from Field Music, of the greatest bands operating that too many people know nothing about.
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