From the opening track’s Tomorrow Never Knows drum pattern to the winking Led Zep riffs of In This City, Field Music are clearly having a good time here. Which isn’t to say their eighth studio album is any less intelligent, incisive and precise than any of their others. Flat White Moon aims to tackle difficult emotions in an uplifting manner, and easily pulls it off. The Brewis brothers’ adeptness at flitting between genres, sometimes mid-song, is a given. Here they do what they do with a jagged grace. Their talent would be irritating if it wasn’t so electrifying. Recording began before lockdown and then switched to their homes. The darkness of these times filters through, but Field Music’s skill is to get your boots swinging with their buoyant, bright art pop. While the album is very much 21st century action, there are cheeky Cockney Rebel vocal fills, XTC shapes and an unabashed love of Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields-era Beatles. Not to mention an out-of-nowhere delightful prog coda or two. No Pressure is both angry and funky, while The Curtained Room introduces Eric Stewart guitar tones to a falsetto echoing their onetime fan Prince. Field Music never let the listener down.
(Image: © Memphis Industries)