Field Music: Flat White Moon review – cerebral crew soften their sharp edges

에프ollowers of Sunderland’s Field Music – David and Peter Brewis and associates – revel in the band’s on-beat, cerebral funk. Any simplification of their filigreed sensibility might be seen as dumbing down. But simplify is precisely what Field Music have done. Do Me a Favour is an out-and-out pop song with a 4/4 beat and simple chords elevated by the elasticity of the brothers’ twin falsettos. With a wry wink, the video for No Pressure literally breaks down the track for the listener.

The album from which these songs come – Flat White Moon, the band’s eighth – comes with all sorts of olive branches, dialling down the brothers’ more forbidding instincts and amping up their love of soft rock. Sweet Beatles harmonies and body-friendly time signatures are foregrounded; the band’s unorthodox melodies come across as inspired, rather than as a secret handshake exchanged between initiates; much emotion is packed into these precise lyrics.

Not When You’re in Love manages to recall Talk Talk rather than XTC, a song in which Brewis actually offers to “shoot the shit” with someone. Throughout, there’s a feeling of being in safe hands, in sync with the Brewises rather than merely being impressed by them.

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