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A Magazine for Sheffield

Field Music Flat White Moon

The Brewis brothers’ eighth album is an exemplar of art-rock musical inventiveness and bittersweet lyrical rumination that combines perfectly to obscure and uplift.

Released: 23 April 2021
Flat White Moon

Field Music’s David Brewis recently said, “We want to make people feel good about things that we feel terrible about”.

What could be more fitting a sentiment for this new album, recorded against a backdrop of Covid lockdown? There’s plenty of immediate and delayed sonic gratification on offer here. Musical ideas slip and slide in arty directions that are underpinned by lyrics that constantly explore the juxtaposition of ambiguous optimism and negative emotions, yet still uplift.

Excellent opener ‘Orion From the Street’ is a tour-de-force, with a twinkly keys riff underpinned by 10cc-channelled harmonies. Minimalistic acoustic guitar introduces ‘Do Me A Favour’, while ‘Not When You’re In Love’ displays its storybook snapshots of life against minor key, jazzy piano and guitar.

The subtly off-key strings on the brilliant ‘When You Last Heard From Linda’ will draw inevitable Beatles comparisons. There are empathetic lyrics too here, with the protagonist’s confusion of being unable to penetrate a best friend’s loneliness.

‘No Pressure’ is the album’s most politically explicit song, drawing on Covid related events to expound a view that the political class feel no obligation to take any responsibility if there’s a narrative that can be finagled instead. “There’s no pressure / Suck it up / Any mistake / Minor or great / Will be hushed up”.

There’s no doubt there’s a sadness to this album, and plenty of evidence of loss and grief, guilt and isolation, but there’s always a willing lyrical counterpoint - a nod to self-awareness here, a rueful reflection there - that brings a rounded, ultimately satisfying feel to this generous record.

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