wed 21/02/2024

Album: Field Music - Making a New World | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Field Music - Making a New World

Album: Field Music - Making a New World

Audacious concept album examining the still-extant ripples of World War One

Field Music's 'Making a New World': about more than its musical framework

“Only in a Man’s World” is a snappy pop-funk nugget with an Eighties feel. There’s a kinship with Peter Gabriel and “Once in a Lifetime” Talking Heads. Its lyrics though are something else. They begin by asking “Why should a woman feel ashamed?” and go on to address why necessary items associated with periods are deemed a luxury by the tax regimen.

“Things would be different if the boys bled too.” Rather than polemic, it comes across as exploring the double standards inherent to the state.

That Field Music’s seventh album proper is about more than its musical framework is made obvious by “Only in a Man’s World”, its 17th track. Elsewhere, there’s lyrics about the development of skin graft procedures and how they led to the first surgical gender reassignment. “Money is a Memory” paints a picture of the government administrator charged in 2010 with making Germany’s final war reparation payment, as stipulated in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Overall, Making a New World pivots on what continues rippling outwards from World War One. Not anniversaries, but actions, events and day-to-day processes rooted in what happened between 1914 and 1918.

Making a New World is a self-generated concept album – their 2015 soundtrack album to the film Drifters was a form of concept album too – and is in line with band mainstay David Brewis’s recent Donald Trump-inspired solo album 45, made as School of Language. However, this is a band album with its basis recorded during a pair of real-time run throughs in one day. All tracks are credited as written by the musicians heard: David, his brother Peter, keyboard player Liz Corney, guitarist Kevin Dosdale and bassist Andrew Lowther.

While Making a New World is less clipped and funk-indebted throughout than its predecessor Open Here and more warmly organic sounding than 2012’s Plumb it – notwithstanding the conceptual framework – sums-up the band to date. Fifteen years after their first release, Field Music have fashioned an entry point into their oeuvre.

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