Field Music: Making New World review – Clever, illuminating brilliance
Making a New World
The Brewis brothers’ seventh record grew out of a project for the Imperial War Museum in 2019, evolving into a 19-song cycle about the after-effects of the first World War, taking in air traffic control, ultrasound, Tiananmen Square, and sanitary towels.
Instrumental pieces form a thread across the record, opening with Sound Ranging, a warmly discordant piece, reflecting the chaos of the first World War, followed by the stillness of piano-led Silence, which reveals the consequences of that chaos. The jazz-influenced instrumental I Thought You Were Something Else is pure sophistication, complemented by An Independent State, and A Common Language Pt 1 takes us to glitchy electronic heights.
This is a beautifully idiosyncratic piece of work; from the jaunty Coffee and Wine making “the end’ sound inviting, to Best Kept Garden with its squalling guitars, Between Nations with its Van Dyke Parks-like atmosphere, and the frenetic piano of A Shot to the Arm. A Change of Heir sounds The Beatles in folk song, and Only In a Man’s World is like David Byrne exploring the history and economics of the sanitary towel. This is clever, illuminating brilliance.