As one half of Field Music, Peter Brewis has been honing the craft of pop songwriting for almost fifteen years, whilst Sarah Hayes has been exploring contemporary folk in her solo work, and the world of indie-pop via her band Admiral Fallow. Their debut self-titled album, the last to be recorded at the old Field Music recording HQ, was released in January 2019 on Memphis Industries.
By blending their distinct compositional talents, they’ve created a record that possesses their own clear styles but also a new voice too, with both of them writing songs and lyrics. Sonically, the result is a subtly crafted album with a rich and intricate sense of composition, in which strings glide above multi-layered keyboards and percussion, and vocal melodies wrap around one another in snug unison. In many senses it feels like a classic songwriter record – rich in craft, songs, arrangements and vocal interplay – yet it manages to feel stylistically contemporary and void of nostalgia.
The album represents struggle on a personal level but a shared sense of uninhibited joy on a collective level. Whilst the subject matter can occasionally be personal and explores troubled or conflicted conversations around inner turmoil, there’s also a stirring sense of beauty that comes from the record; a feeling of pastures new and moving onto new things rather than being held back by the past. What makes this an even more remarkable musical statement and achievement is that two first-time collaborators were able to channel so much of themselves into a project and create something coherent and poised.
“A brilliant and original collaboration” 4/5 MOJO
“A folk-centric beauty” 8/10 Uncut