Field Music (songwriting brothers Peter and David Brewis plus keyboard manipulator Andrew Moore) covered a lot of ground in 2006. The trio from Sunderland, England, have performed in Berlin, in Milan and Barcelona, toured France with Architecture in Helsinki and the UK twice on their lonesome, including Reading and Leeds Festival appearances, and the US where they were one of the surprise hits of SXSW. They also found time to invent a dance craze (according to English tabloid newspaper The News of the World), etch one side of a 7" with a list of things you really shouldn't do but probably have, release a cash-in-b-sides album which gave a brief and inaccurate history of a slew of pre-Field Music experiments. In addition the band also found time to record their second album proper.
As with their eponymous debut, Tones of Town was self-produced. Recording took place at their own Eight Music studio in Sunderland between 31st January and 16th May.
Where 'Field Music' was the sound of a group making the record they knew they were capable of; dryly-produced, ambitiously skewed, multilayered pop which gradually revealed its intricacies over repeated listens; Tones of Town sees Field Music pushing and scratching at all of the boundaries implicit in their debut; the sound of a band moving in several directions at once, searching for ways to surprise themselves, taking risks and trying something new.
That could be the cut-and-paste beatboxing which concludes 'Sit Tight', the stacked Day At The Races harmonies which lead into 'Closer At Hand', the tumble from dreaming overlapped marimba into an undiluted joyous rock guitar riff on the opener 'Give It Lose It Take It' or where the spiraling modular structures of the first record reach their logical extreme on the title track. On 'A House Is Not A Home' (Brewis, P) and first single 'In Context', Field Music could even be described as 'funky', albeit in a peculiarly singular avant-mackem way.
The album does though have a (possibly unintentional) unifying theme. Something along the lines of "There's no place like home, but how come I don't always feel 'at home', and what does that mean anyway?" Lyrically, Tones of Town, presents itself as a collection of missives from a generation who don't want to complain because they're well aware that they've never had it so good, but who nonetheless feel somewhat dislocated; geographically, socially, personally, from each other, from their jobs, from supermarkets, from indie music and from television.
The band's new album Tones of Town is set for release on 22 Jan 2007 in the UK and 20 Feb 2007 in the US preceded by singles In Context and A House is Not A Home..