Field Report – New Frontiers

Field Report – Marigolden

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Field Report have a lugubrious quality to them. Über-lugubrious, you might even say. The basic format is traditional. Gentle Americana. Yet sometimes the songs are played so slow and the vowels are extended so far that you fear something might just break. It creates a nice tension as well as a huge mid-Western-style space in which tall tales can be told and at quite some length. ‘30,000 feet I am seated by a surgeon”, we hear on the title track. “Said he fixed the dicks of Shah’s sons”. A likely story. Highlights in this vein on their second album include ‘Pale Rider’, ‘Michelle’ and the lovely closer, ‘Enchantment’. The worry is that it could all get a little bit samey, but Field Report are not afraid to mix things up just enough. A Neil Young-inspired piano ballad here. Some female backing vocals there. The biggest change from last time, though, is the introduction of the merest hint of electronica. Taking a leaf out of the magnificent Matthew Houck’s book, there’s an undercurrent of inorganic burblery on a few of the tracks. It works really well, speeding things up on occasions and allowing ‘Wings’ to take flight and soar and ‘Cups and Cups’ to make you want to come back to the table and fill up with more. While these sounds point towards new horizons, for now Field Report are still roaming across pretty much the same musical territory as bands like Dawes and Fossil Collective. There’s plenty of room for everyone, but Field Report know how to carve out their own special space.

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