Song of the day: Field Music – "Them That Do Nothing"

I’ve resisted mentioning this band for quite a while because they’re: a) not especially power pop; and b) not especially Australian. There’s also the chance that you might find them a bit precious (there are plenty of people who do).

The band is Field Music and they’re from the UK. The creative engine of the group is the songwriting duo of brothers David and Peter Brewis. There are two other chaps in the band (Ian Black and Kevin Dosdale) who, as far as I can tell, aren’t related to each other (or to the Brewis brothers*). The band’s 2006 release Tones Of Town was my favourite album of that year. It was one of those albums that grew on me – and kept on growing**. The first time I heard Tones Of Town I thought, “That’s interesting. Not great, but interesting.” Then I listened to it again, and liked it a bit more. Listened to it again, liked it a bit more. With every listen i liked it more and more. I ended up liking the album so much that at one stage I listened to it first thing in the morning every day a month. I now absolutely adore Tones Of Town, and won’t hear a bad word about it. (My media player tells me that I’ve listened to it 42 times. That’s 42.)

For today’s song I was thinking about playing you one of the tracks from Tones Of Town but I just can’t bring myself to do it. For me, it’s one of those very rare things nowadays: it’s an album. It isn’t just a couple of hits and filler. And it isn’t just a collection of unrelated songs. As far as I’m concered, it’s a unified whole that must be listened to in one go. I can’t listen to it any other way. Once it starts I don’t go anywhere until it’s finished. By the way, listening to Tones Of Town is not as tiresome as you may imagine, because it’s only 30 minutes long.

Anyway, Tones Of Town was Field Music’s second album (I don’t recommend the self-titled debut album from 2005 as it’s the sound of a band finding its sound – which they perfected on Tones Of Town). After it was released, the band stated that they had nothing else to add to their sound and that everyone should get used to the idea that two Field Music albums will be your lot. Upon hearing this news, there were sighs of disappointment from cardigan-wearing music fans everywhere (well, anywhere where there’s cardigan-wearing music fans).

However, the chaps in Field Music weren’t about to stop making music altogether. The Brewis brothers each had a burst of creativity and created two separate albums that displayed two different aspects of the Field Music style (I was going to type “sound” again but I’ve done that too many times on this post already – see previous paragraph); the poppy The Week That Was; and the arty School Of Language.

And then, to the joy and jubilation of Field Music fans (including an excited me), the Brewis brothers announced that they were making another Field Music album.

(Personal sidenote: the announcement of a new Field Music album led me to do something I hadn’t done since getting connected to the Internet: I pre-ordered it. In other words, I bought an album I hadn’t heard.)

The new Field Music album is called Measure and, possibly in response to people complaining that Tones Of Town was too short (31:39), it’s a 20-track monster (71:58). Those Brewis boys sure are productive.

Right, now that I’ve bored you senseless with prattling on about Field Music, here (finally) is the Song of the day which will give you a much better idea of who Field Music are than the 734 paragraphs you just read:

Field Music – “Them That Do Nothing” (2009)


Now, one song won’t tell you everything about Field Music so here are two more tracks from Measure:

Field Music – “Each Time Is A New Time” (2009)


Field Music – “Measure” (2009)


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to Measure again. I’ve only heard it 9 times so far. Listen number 10 coming up…

(*You never know, it’s possible that they’re all related but the other two changed their names so the band wouldn’t be compared to The Osmond Brothers.)

(**It’s what I call the Odessey and Oracle Effect™, named in honour of The Zombies’ 1968 album of the same name that I found underwhelming the first time I heard it, but the more I listened to it the more I liked it until it got to the stage where I now can’t live without it.)


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