Making my list for Best Albums of 2005 is the eponymous debut from Field Music. From the same Sunderland, England scene as the Futureheads and Maximo Park* (with whom they share drummer Tom English), Field Music don’t have much in common, sonically, with them but you can hear the connection in the strong Northern accents.
Musically, they draw from Baroque ’60s pop, with a fair amount of keyboards, horns, flutes, and strings that would appeal to fans of Belle & Sebastian, Cardinal’s Eric Matthews and Richard Davies, or even The Chills. There’s also a sparseness to the arrangements, a la Spoon. And, okay, maybe just a bit of herky-jerky new wave: their single "If Only the Moon Were Up" sounds like The Shins covering "Girl U Want." (Check out the video link below.)
The band are signed to Memphis Industries, home of not only The Go! Team, but also the equally-worthy Pipettes and Absentee. Yet no one seems to be talking about them much. Maybe that’s good, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because they aren’t very, you know, rock. (This will be a problem for fellow British up-and-comers Mystery Jets and Guillemots when they eventually try and break stateside.) But they are worthy. Some MP3s courtesy the Memphis Industries website:
Check out the low-budget video for "If Only the Moon Were Up"
Field Music play Mercury Lounge on Saturday, January 28. Tickets are still available.
UPDATE: Absolutely Kosher is releasing Field Music’s debut domestically March 7.
*Maximo Park are actually from Newcastle Upon Tyne, but have been lumped in with Sunderland bands as part of the new North scene by the UK music press.