Fieldhead – A Correction

A change of scenery can be quite inspiring.   Sometimes we become so used to our environments that we start to forget about the amazing things that made us fall in love with the places that we live in the first place.  We sit and use google maps to explore other places making comments like “it’s so beautiful” or “I wish I lived there” and day dreaming about what could be.  We never google our own homes do we?  We walk around and, after a while, we take it all for granted.

Rather than talking about other places though, sometimes the most inspiring thing you can do is go and live in them and absorb them.  Not only does it make the world a more exciting place but when you return it makes you appreciate your home even more than you did before you left.  If I could live in one place, it would be Amsterdam.  I think it’s the most amazing city in the world and would be my ideal place to stay if I could.  But when I visit Amsterdam, I always come home and notice more about Edinburgh, things I’ve missed previously, and that is something I truly love.

Landscapes and surroundings therefore change a person.  Change perspective.  Change focus and, in the case of music, change inspiration.  ‘A Correction’ is very much a record about Canada.  It’s an Englishman, uprooting and moving across the Atlantic to Vancouver to live for a time and, in so doing, finding new inspiration for creation, resulting in his most assured and confident piece of music to date.  ‘A Correction’ is a real triumph and one that cements Fieldhead’s reputation as a master of his craft.

And it’s this growth, from the brilliant debut ‘They Shook Hands For Hours’, through the experimental ethos of ‘Riser’ and into ‘A Correction’ that shows real development and focus as an artist.

From the moment you pick up your copy of this album the influence of place is clear.  Art showing a lone figure on what appears to be a frozen landscape.  This is not the UK.  It’s not about the UK.  It’s not set in the UK.  It’s not made in the UK.  It is about place and people and the emotional interactions we experience as humans, and it’s wonderful.

From the off, everything that made Fieldhead so special is there.  I have often pointed out that his use of beats is incredible.  The type of processed beat on offer is the kind that can kill a record, pushing it from the sublime to the nasty in a flash.  The margin for error is fine.  The difference between a class piece of electronic music and something that sounds like a bad drum demo on one of those keyboards your school music department used to have is very narrow.   Knowing your craft,   that’s the key.  And Fieldhead clearly understands how subtle processed beats can take a track and an album to a different level.  Title track ‘A Correction’ is a perfect example of this opening the album with a mass of static and crackles given propulsion by one of those wonderful beats.  But the album is littered with these subtle propulsions, used perfectly to lift the record when necessary.  Elsewhere the album is filled with ethereal landscapes using a mixture of processed sounds and strings and the result is something quite other worldly.  This really had to be a winter release as it fits the changing of the seasons with such perfection.

So Fieldhead moved to Canada and created an assured and mature record that reflects place.  He’s back in the UK again now and hopefully appreciating and noticing his surroundings more than ever before.  If that then translates into inspiration and creationwe are in line for ever improving offerings from one of the UKs finest talents.  I cannot recommend this album highly enough.

You can find out more about Fieldhead and order your copy of ‘A Correction’ here.  Enjoy.

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Coming In Early 2013

In early 2013 myself and Matthew Collings will release our debut album together.  Under the name Graveyard Tapes ‘Our Sound is Our Wound’ will be released through the awesome Lost Tribe Sound.  The label are streaming a track from the album over on their Soundcloud page.  Please check it out.  The album will be a limited edition release in some very special packaging designed by the wonderful Jamie Mills, who is also responsible for the artwork.   Matthew and I are both excited about the release of this record that we started work on back in 2010.  We hope you will enjoy it when it is available in the New Year.

New Damien Rice Tracks

Some artists appear in your life and their music will always be something you connect with.  Damien Rice is definitely one of those artists.  I remember first seeing him as a scruffy nobody supporting Counting Crows and thinking ‘wow’, because it’s not often that support acts really catch your attention given you usually pay for the main event.  Anyways, his debut album ‘O’ was a magical piece of folk music that sadly became overly commercialised and Rice became something I don’t think he ever intended to be.  Perhaps this, coupled with the cracks in his personal and working relationship with Lisa Hannigan, resulted in ‘9’ which can only be described as ‘hugely disappointing’ though first single ‘9 Crimes’ is still one of his finest offerings as a song writer.  This record really failed to build on the brilliance of ‘O’ and left Rice suffering from second album fever and also nursing a broken heart.

Anyways, after a long time away, Rice has previewed new tracks at some solo shows and you can find one of these tracks below.  Time will tell if Rice will release anything new and if he does whether he will ever be able to recapture what made him brilliant in the first place. On the evidence of this track I think the answer is perhaps.  Either way, it’s nice to see him back making music.