You Tell Me – You Tell Me

Field Music's Peter Brewis and Admiral Fallow's Sarah Hayes release their eponymous debut album as You Tell Me and it's an inspired musical match

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 09 Jan 2019
  • You Tell Me – You Tell Me
Album title: You Tell Me
Artist: You Tell Me
Label: Memphis Industries
Release date: 11 Jan

When Field Music’s Peter Brewis watched Sarah Hayes – solo artist and member of Admiral Fallow – perform This Woman’s Work at a gig celebrating the music of Kate Bush, it kick-started events that would see them form You Tell Me. Their self-titled debut album not only has a running theme of communication but also sees the pair conversing musically; it bears the hallmarks of Brewis' and Hayes' separate projects but fuses these aspects together into a seamless blend.

Sweeping orchestration, smatterings of airy woodwind and complex motifs sometimes carrying a funk-infused edge synergise with acoustic guitar and bare piano; Brewis and Hayes' effortless harmonies become a cipher for how easily they combine forces. Get Out of the Room builds on its minimalist beginnings with echoing drums and brass, while Water Cooler is a glam stomper with intriguing melodic intricacies that never overshadow its core pop sensibilities.

You Tell Me is probably at its peak when it leans further towards these pacey, pop-infused moments. However, the handful of tracks that stray into ballad territory are still often striking – not simply due to the musical intricacies that lie within them but because Hayes' vocals evoke strength and tenderness in equal measure, giving them some real emotional weight. Are Brewis and Hayes an inspired match? You don’t need us to tell you.

Listen to: Get Out of the Room, Water Cooler