I’ve been a big fan of Field Music since Sean’s post about them back in 2006, so I was stoked to find out that Peter Brewis had started up another project with Sarah Hayes (Admiral Hallow) called You Tell Me. Their just released (via Memphis Industries) self-titled LP is hard not to compare to Field Music or to say that it doesn’t sound like Field Music, but the addition of Hayes’ vocals and the way they harmonize with each other along with the orchestral-pop music they’ve created around their vocals make this one heck of a collaboration that definitely stands on its own.
Bricolage plays the smart, snappy, pop music I enjoyed listening to as a younger man—back in my high school days and early college years. This is the sort of song I’d listen to while getting ready for a date, gelling and blow-drying my hair (when there was enough to warrant such a styling) and dressing according to the glossy templates found in men’s fashion magazines (not unlike the Bricolage boys themselves). The upbeat, breezy sounds signified the budding hope and possibilities every new girl, every new date, held. Currently living the myriad of possibilities one such date produced I still follow my youthful listening habits matching the music to my mood. And these days Bricolage-type moods grossly outweigh the stormy, dark, and depressing adolescent funks that often followed less successful outings with the young ladies of my youth.
I have to admit I’ve been squatting on this one for a while. Leaving a blank post in ol’ Movable Type just to keep my 3hive colleagues from posting The Black Neon before I do. But blank posts aren’t a very effective way of sharing the sharing, so here goes… The Black Neon’s first full-length is called Arts and Crafts. It’s a regular appetizer tray of styles, as evidenced by these two tracks — one a nostalgic psych-pop ballad, the other a searing electro-rock instrumental. And there’s even more goodness if you dig deeper on the album, which I’d love to play for you in its entirety but that’s your job now, isn’t it?
Absentee’s calling card is the world-weary, whiskey-soaked voice of Dan Michaelson, who may remind you of Kurt Wagner of Lambchop or, as the band’s MySpace page puts it, “Leonard Cohen singing from the trouser backed up with a mix of incompetence and occasional suprise.” Whatever the case, “Something to Bang” is a brilliant blast of horns and wit but somewhat of a “radio single” compared to my favorite: the simple and resigned “Hey Tramp.” Both are available on their new album Schmotime which you can find on eMusic to avoid paying import prices.
Field Music is somewhat of an all-star band in their hometown of Sunderland up there in the northeast corner of England. They’ve shared members with Futureheads and loaned out the drummer from Maximo Park for some album duties. Their debut album hit back in August of last year in the UK drawing comparisons to “Wire arranged by the Beach Boys,” and The Beatles. And when the band lists influences ranging from My Bloody Valentine to Stravinsky to Big Star to Duke Ellington you get your hopes up. Field Music fails to disappoint. It’ll be out next month in the States and I’m calling it the pop album to beat this year. I know for a fact they’ll be going mano a mano with Figurines for my attention. One last note, when you buy the album listen for them lifting Lloyd Cole & The Commotions’ “Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken” verbatim for the bridge in “Pieces.”
The Go! Team cook up an infectious blend of double-dutch hip hop, horns-a-blazing cop show themes, and raw garage pop. But you probably already knew that. These MP3s are from their 2003 Junior Kickstart EP, which had yet to incorporate the pep squad vocals. But you probably already know that, too. However, unless you’re responsible for one of the 548 plays tallied on MySpace as I write this, you probably haven’t yet heard The Go! Team vs. Kevin Shields, which takes the yummy bits of “Ladyflash” and “Huddle Formation” and puts the proverbial cherry on top. Say G-O…T-E-A-M!