Field Music – Making a New World

It ain't half pop, mum. Field Music look back in style – but even further back with the concept – on their seventh album of kinder, gentler music

Album Review by Alan O'Hare | 10 Jan 2020
  • Field Music – Making a New World
Album title: Making a New World
Artist: Field Music
Label: Memphis Industries
Release date: 10 Jan

The Brewis brothers of Sunderland have always liked a bit of Prince. Seven albums in to a career that started in 2004, Field Music have found another way to stand in the shadow of the late star with latest album Making a New World. However, they do manage to peek through said shadow and show their best bits here too.

Just like we love, say, Beck for showing us the wizard behind the curtain, Field Music have always found a way to be themselves. Who says Prince, Brian Eno-era Roxy Music, Talking Heads and Beck are the only ones allowed to make twitchy new wave funk like the fabulous Only in a Man's World? Everything that grooves here (over half the album, which clocks in at 19 tracks) is great and makes you want to see the band live. The rub? Making a New World is a song cycle about the after-effects of the First World War.

You wouldn't guess this listening to the is-that-Dave-Stewart-on-guitar falsettoified Money Is a Memory or the heavy handed piano pop of Coffee or Wine (the song Franz Ferdinand have been trying to write their whole life), but the stories are revealed in the album's lyrics. Themes of air traffic control, gender reassignment surgery, ultrasound and Tiananmen Square dominate here while minimalist vignettes separate the dramatic pop of Best Kept Garden and Between Nations' McCartney-esque sense of melodic wonder.

Making a New World demands a lot of listens, but the rewards are there for those who make the time to truly engage. For those who care, the sounds coming out of the speakers on this group of songs are from the top table and the Mercury-nominated band once again deserve plaudits for its precision production.

'I wrote my book, I changed my name, I was told I was next in line', goes the intro to the fabulous A Change of Heir and you hope for Field Music it's a sign of things to come.

Listen to: Only in a Man's World, Money Is a Memory, Between Nations