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Field Music

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Field Music
Field Music at The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London, UK. November, 2007.
Field Music at The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London, UK. November, 2007.
Background information
OriginSunderland, England, United Kingdom
GenresIndie rock, art rock, progressive pop
Years active2004–present
LabelsMemphis Industries
MembersDavid Brewis
Peter Brewis
Andrew Lowther (touring band)
Kev Dosdale (touring band)
Liz Corney (touring band)
Past membersAndrew Moore
Tom English (touring band)
Ian Black (touring band)

Field Music are an English rock band from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England, that formed in 2004.[1] The band's core consists of brothers David Brewis and Peter Brewis. Andrew Moore was the original keyboard player. Their line-up has at times featured members of both Maxïmo Park and The Futureheads.

Field Music have been called one of the few bands to outlast the indie guitar band explosion of the mid-2000s. Describing the band as "a truly artful proposition in the pseudo-filled landscape of contemporary Brit art-rock", music blog The Fantastic Hope puts this down in part to their "un-self-conscious anti-fashion stance", arguing that Field Music's "wayward pop from the fringes of academia is one of the most worthwhile ways in which rock//indie/guitar music/white pop/whatever might evolve".[2] Critics have compared their music to acts as diverse as Steely Dan, XTC, Prefab Sprout, Peter Gabriel, Scritti Politti, Talking Heads and Todd Rundgren.[3] They have also been nominated for the Mercury Prize.[4]


Prior to Field Music, David Brewis was in the projects the New Tellers and Electronic Eye Machine. Several songs from these bands ended up as early Field Music recordings. His brother Peter Brewis at one time played drums for fellow Sunderland band the Futureheads.


First phase (2004–2007): Field Music, Write Your Own History, Tones of Town[edit]

Field Music released their self-titled debut album in August 2005. A collection of B-sides and earlier songs (including tracks written for the New Tellers and Electronic Eye Machine), Write Your Own History, was released in May 2006. Their second album, Tones of Town, was released on 22 January 2007.

In an interview with BBC 6 Music in April 2007 the band claimed they were intending to split once the promotional engagements for Tones of Town were completed in June 2007.[5]

"We basically want to do things that aren't classed as 'Field Music indie band'. We're not going to be a band for a bit. But Field Music aren't going to be over because we've already got a bank account under the name, so we'll just continue as a company. It's time to go and do some real work."

Hiatus of Field Music brand (2007–2009): The Week That Was, introduction of School of Language[edit]

Field Music later confirmed that the band had not split, addressing the hiatus on their official website. Under the name School of Language, David Brewis released the solo album Sea from Shore in February 2008 through Memphis Industries (in the UK and Ireland) and Thrill Jockey Records (in the US and Europe), while Peter Brewis recorded an album under the name the Week That Was. Their self-titled album was released on 18 August 2008, also with Memphis Industries, and featured both David Brewis and Andrew Moore on some tracks.

Second phase (2009–2013): Field Music (Measure), Plumb[edit]

In an interview with Stereogum in July 2009,[6] the band confirmed that they had reunited (minus Andrew Moore) and were busy recording a third Field Music record. The 20-song double album, titled Field Music (Measure) was released through Memphis Industries in February, 2010 (15 February in the UK, 16 February in the US).

The band was chosen by Belle & Sebastian to perform at their second Bowlie Weekender festival presented by All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK in December 2010.

Their fourth album, Plumb, was released on 13 February 2012. It was preceded by the song "(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing", available as a free download from their website. The album was nominated for the Mercury Prize that year. In an interview with Songfacts.com, guitarist and producer Al Kooper said that Field Music is his favourite new band.[7]

Third phase (2013–present): Music for Drifters, Old Fears, Commontime, Open Here, Making a New World[edit]

Field Music in Kendal 2020

In September 2013, it was revealed that Field Music had composed a soundtrack for the 1929 silent documentary Drifters.[8] The film, which originally premiered alongside Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, was made by pioneering Scottish director John Grierson and follows the working day of a herring fishing fleet as it sets sail from the Shetland Islands. Field Music premiered the work with a live performance and screening for Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival. This commission saw the original line-up of Peter Brewis, David Brewis and Andrew Moore reunite for the first time since 2007. A subsequent screening and performance took place at London's Islington Assembly Hall in November 2013.[9]

David Brewis played as a member of the touring band for former Fiery Furnaces singer Eleanor Friedberger on her UK tour in the summer of 2013.[10] He released a second School of Language album – Old Fears – in April 2014. Both David Brewis and Peter Brewis joined their former bass player Ian Black in the band SLUG, touring as support to Hyde & Beast in the autumn of 2014. Peter Brewis also released an album, Frozen by Sight, in collaboration with Maxïmo Park's Paul Smith on 17 November 2014.[11] This consisted of 'baroque-pop' compositions by Brewis with edited excerpts of Paul Smith's travel writing sung in Recitative. A live performance of the album was staged, with other musicians including a string section, at Gateshead's Sage.

In November 2015, Prince posted a link to Field Music's then-newly released single "The Noisy Days Are Over" on his Twitter feed.[12] In February 2016 the band released their sixth album as Field Music, Commontime.[13] They performed two songs from the album—including "Disappointed", which featured in the "live" edition of the programme—in the second episode of the 48th series of the BBC music show Later... with Jools Holland. The performance was cited in a BBC poll as one of the highlights of the series.[14]

Early in 2016, the band completed their first UK tour in four years.[15] It was followed up by a US tour, which included dates in Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Seattle. They also played in California for the first time since the tour to promote 2007's Tones of Town.

In 2016, Field Music worked with Newcastle duo Warm Digits on the soundtrack for the film Asunder, directed by Esther Johnson, commissioned as part of the 14-18 NOW series of events to commemorate the centenary of World War 1. Writing for The Guardian, the film's creative producer, Bob Stanley revealed that the compositions, which were scored for the Northern Sinfonia by Peter Brewis, had been inspired by Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Messiaen.[16]

A seventh album, Open Here, was released in February 2018. The Guardian described it as a "grand masterclass in terrific tune-making".[17]

An eighth album, Making a New World, was released on 10 January 2020.[18] Keiron Tyler of The Art Desk called the album "a snappy pop funk with an Eighties [sic] feel."[19]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Field Music
Tones of Town
  • Released: 22 January 2007
  • Label: Memphis Industries
Field Music (Measure)
  • Released: 15 February 2010
  • Label: Memphis Industries
  • Released: 13 February 2012
  • Label: Memphis Industries
  • Released: 5 February 2016
  • Label: Memphis Industries
Open Here
  • Released: 2 February 2018[22]
  • Label: Memphis Industries
Making a New World
  • Released: 10 January 2020
  • Label: Memphis Industries
Flat White Moon
  • Released: 23 April 2021
  • Label: Memphis Industries
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released



  • Music for Drifters – 18 April 2015 (Record Store Day vinyl release); 24 July 2015 (wide digital release)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at Tapestry – 23 March 2020 (digital release of Feb 2006 recording, live at Tapestry Club, Roman Catholic Church of St Aloysius, Camden Town)[23]

Field Music productions[edit]

Albums by David Brewis as School of Language[edit]

  • Sea from Shore (4 February 2008)
  • Old Fears (7 April 2014)
  • 45 (30 May 2019)
  • I Could Have Loved U Better (digital EP, 21 April 2020)[24]

Albums by Peter Brewis[edit]


  • Elements of the Sun (10" vinyl EP, collaboration with Warm Digits for BBC Radio 3's Late Junction Sessions) (24 September 2012)
  • Five Pieces for Roker, and Percussion ('found sound' works by Peter Brewis for the NGCA) (2013)


List of singles
Title Year Album
"Shorter Shorter" 2005 Field Music
"You Can Decide"
"If Only the Moon Were Up"
"You're Not Supposed To" 2006 Write Your Own History
"In Context" Tones of Town
"A House Is Not a Home" 2007
"She Can Do What She Wants"
"Them That Do Nothing" 2010 Field Music (Measure)
"Let's Write a Book"
"(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing" 2011 Plumb
"A New Town" 2012
"Who'll Pay the Bills?"
"The Noisy Days Are Over" 2016 Commontime
"Count It Up" 2017 Open Here
"Time in Joy" 2018
"Share a Pillow"
"Only in a Man's World" 2019 Making a New World
"Money Is a Memory"
"Home for Christmas"[25] Non-album single
"Beyond That of Courtesy" Making a New World
"Do You Read Me?" 2020
"Home for Christmas" (re-issue) Lost Christmas: A Festive Memphis Industries Selection Box
"Orion from the Street"[26] 2021 Flat White Moon


  1. ^ Brown, Paul (22 July 2015). "Album Review: Field Music – Music for Drifters / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  2. ^ Niven, Alex (30 September 2011). "Reason To Be Moderately Hopeful About The Future Of Music No. 265". The Fantastic Hope. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  3. ^ Petridis, Alexis (4 February 2016). "Field Music: Commontime review – infectious warmth from the critics' favourite indie duo". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Field Music: 'The music industry would be pissed off if we won Barclaycard Mercury Prize'". NME. 12 October 2012. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  5. ^ "6 Music – Exclusive – Field Music to hibernate". BBC. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Progress Report: Field Music". Stereogum. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2016.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Al Kooper: Songwriter Interviews". Songfacts. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  8. ^ Leigh, Danny (3 September 2012). "Drifters With Live Score From Field Music". Berwick Upon Tweed Film & Media Arts Festival. Berwick. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  9. ^ Staff Reporter (16 September 2012). "Field Music (performing the soundtrack to Drifters) – ILLUMINATIONS". Rock Feedback. London. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  10. ^ Eccleston, Danny (19 August 2013). "Eleanor Friedberger Comes Into Her Own". Mojo. London. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Paul Smith (Maximo Park) and Peter Brewis (Field Music)". Drowned In Sound. 11 November 2014. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  12. ^ Brewis, David (30 November 2015). "Purple prose: Field Music on their love of Prince". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 17 May 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Field Music Announce New Album commontime, Share "The Noisy Days Are Over", Plot Tour | News". Pitchfork.com. 13 October 2015. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  14. ^ Staff Reporter (18 May 2016). "10 outstanding performances from the current series of Later... with Jools Holland". BBC. London. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  15. ^ Bartleet, Larry (28 September 2015). "Field Music announce first UK tour in four years". NME. London. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  16. ^ Stanley, Bob (9 June 2016). "Bob Stanley: 'I can't imagine my favourite films without their soundtracks'". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  17. ^ Simpson, Dave (2 February 2017). "Field Music: Open Here review – grand masterclass in terrific tune-making". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  18. ^ Simpson, Dave (10 January 2020). "Field Music: Making a New World review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Album: Field Music - Making a New World". theartsdesk.com. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  20. ^ Peak positions in the United Kingdom: "Field Music > UK Charts". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Chart Log UK: Adam F – FYA". 3 March 2016. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  22. ^ Blais-Billie, Braudie (7 November 2017). "Field Music Announce New Album Open Here". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Live at Tapestry, by Field Music". Field Music. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  24. ^ "I Could Have Loved U Better, by School of Language". School of Language. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  25. ^ Industries, Memphis [@memphisind] (26 November 2019). "Its a race against the clock to get these unbelievably limited @fieldmusicmusic holographic cover, lathe cut 7"s ready in time for this weeks @IndieLabelMkt If it all comes together there will be 5 of these, featuring a brand new, unheard Christmas song...pic.twitter.com/tc1FnrlU64" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  26. ^ Brewis, David (13 January 2021). "Wanna hear a new song? >>>> Orion From The Street". Retrieved 13 January 2021.

External links[edit]