All-time favorite bands tend to be bred in one’s youth, where they have time to live with you, to infect your musical pleasure centers and to prove that they won’t — no, can’t — ever disappoint. But I have to admit, Field Music are making a strong charge despite their rather recent vintage. Their self-titled debut in 2005 featured one of my favorite songs of that year (“You Can Decide”), while their sophomore CD, 2007’s “Tones of Town,” leaped even higher in my affection, landing as my favorite album of that year.
Even as they took a break as a band right after that, they still managed to charm me. Both key members, brothers David and Peter Brewis, released solo projects in 2008 and both were excellent (David’s album, under the name “School of Language,” once again topped my chart as that year’s best album).
2010 has them once again united under the Field Music banner with a stunning 20-track, double-album’s worth of brilliance that I can’t help but feel is going to last well into the time when the year’s best work is summed up. Their sound seems so perfectly crafted, yet feels effortless – pastoral at times, but always energized by wit. There are twisty bits, unusual rhythms & unlikely melodies that recall any number of bands. I heard Jason Bentley compare them to XTC, while I hear “Duke”-era Genesis (but really good, should either the concept of poppy prog-rock or Phil Collins scare you). But they are clearly staking out territory of their own and are making lots of new fans. Give a listen and I wouldn’t be surprise if they become your next new all-time favorite band too.