Field Music, Tones Of Town

Tim Chester

By Tim Chester

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Given the huge success of Sunderland's the Futureheads in recent years, it would be easy to overlook the other residents of this small northern town, itself an annexe to the much larger and brasher Newcastle-upon-Tyne. However, the three skewed minds that comprise Field Music have been quietly ploughing a similarly unique furrow of their own for many a year.

Sunderland group expand their restless template on their second proper album.

Whilst holding down full-time jobs, they've knocked out recordings at an alarming rate — so many, in fact, they were released in their own right last year as Write Your Own History, after their eponymous debut album. Field Music introduced an intrigued public to a collection of tightly woven quirk-pop nuggets wedged somewhere between XTC and the Beach Boys. It was a perfect initial manifesto from a band that wriggled free of expectation — even during the individual songs. Their second proper album, Tones of Town, meanwhile, was met this year with fevered expectation. Expanding their restless template, it's full of obtuse ditties on the rubbishness of modern life, from the human beatbox and glockenspiel combo of "Sit Tight" to the beautifully harmonised but achingly sad "Working to Work."