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Fields - Everything Last Winter

Fields, Everything Last Winter

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

ONE of the most striking things about Fields’ debut album Everything Last Winter is the power of the guitar work, which impresses from the outset.

Both Jamie and Nick have the happy knack of fusing some powerful and psychedelically tinged guitar riffs with occasional shots of early 1970s folk that work well in tandem with the boy and little-girl lost vocals.

Several tracks begin softly only to explode into thrilling life; others merely deliver a pleasingly breezy listen that’ll doubtless be perfect for milling about to on a long, hot summer’s day.

Fields have, of course, been hotly-tipped for greatness since releasing their critically-acclaimed and much sought-after EP 4 From The Fields last July.

Since then, they’ve won many friends during support slots with Editors, Snow Patrol and Bloc Party.

They hail from London and are comprised of Nick Peill (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Thorunn Antonia (vocals/keyboards), Henry Spenner (drums/vocals), Matty Derham (bass/keyboards/vocals) and Jamie Putnam (guitar).

Fortunately, they make good on their potential with debut album Everything Last Winter, a rousing collection of songs that marry the exciting brashness of early Ash with elements of My Bloody Valentine and the wonderfully psychedelic qualities of America’s Joy Zipper.

Things kick off in suitably stirring fashion with the signature track Song For The Fields; Peill’s vocals taking centre-stage early on while the guitars build from folksy and acoustic to driving and electric.

By the time Peill and Antonia team up to deliver the chorus of “you’re not the only one”, the song should have you hooked and just keeps getting stronger and stronger.

It’s followed by former single Charming The Flames, another track that begins with simple melodies and laidback, almost serene vocals, before exploding to life for a rousing, guitar-driven finale.

You Don’t Need This Song (To Fix Your Broken Heart) is a fine example of the band’s folkier tendencies and a perfect summer track in waiting thanks to its breezy style.

But it’s followed by the altogether more lively Feathers which pretty much launches into some more emphatic guitar chords from the outset – and then places Antonia’s vocals to the fore. Together with The Death, they represent the sound of Fields at their most angry and confrontational – but such moments only give rise to more thrilling guitar riffs.

It’s a measure of the group’s strength, however, that much of their music is steeped in classic songwriting values – strong sense of melody, strong sense of structure and plenty of layerying. Many of the tracks aspire to epic greatness and several reach some thrilling highs that have already given rise to some equally memorable live performances.

Further highlights include You Brought This On Yourself, a hypnotic charmer that swaps the fire of The Death with something altogether more shimmering and nicely melodic.

While it’s a neat trick to introduce the sound of birds singing to the intro of Skulls and Flesh and More, a track so steeped in summery qualities that it practically makes a mockery of its Goth-like name!

If You Fail We All Fail comes alive with some vibrant guitar work before album closer Parasite eases you into a more relaxed place with its folksy hooks, cinematic strings and tender boy-girl vocal duet.

It offers a supremely satisfying finale to an album that genuinely impresses from beginning to end.

Download picks: Song For The Fields, Feathers, You Brought This On Yourself, Skulls and Flesh And More, Parasite, You Don’t Need This Song (To Fix Your Broken Heart)

Track listing:

  1. Song For The Fields
  2. Charming The Flames
  3. You Don’t Need This Song (To Fix Your Broken Heart)
  4. Feathers
  5. Schoolbooks
  6. The Death
  7. You Brought This On Yourself
  8. Skulls And Flesh And More
  9. If You Fail We All Fail
  10. Parasite