Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Experiments With Language

School of Language - This Is No Fun

School of Language is David Brewis of Field Music's solo project, and debut LP 'Sea From Shore' finds Brewis breaking away from the structurally perfect pop nuggets of his former day job, in order to further deconstruct the concept of 'popular' music. If that sounds rather dull and contrived, it's anything but. If you think of Field Music as Lego, where each brick fits snugly into the next, with School of Language, Brewis chucks some Meccano and Sticklebricks into the mix, building something altogether more playful and abstract, but without losing the wonderful melodies that made Field Music so special.

The highlight of the album for me is 'This Is No Fun', which demonstrates perfectly the differences between the two projects - sonically denser and lyrically darker, it sprawls and rocks out in a way Field Music never seemed able. In 'Rockist', divided into four parts that open and close the album, Brewis uses his own voice as a backing rhythm, a bit like Bobby McFerrin, or even Laurie Anderson. For ‘Disappointment ‘99’, Brewis reveals his inner-Timberlake, as rough, funky rhythms rub up against his glorious, hook-laden falsetto. When I first heard Field Music was being shelved for the foreseeable future, my initial thought was, 'Why?'. On hearing this fine debut, I completely understand. Fortune favours the brave, and away from the comforts of the band dynamics, Brewis is thriving.

'Sea From Shore' is released by Memphis Industries on Monday (4th February). Pre-order the CD from Norman Records - first 10 orders get a free T-shirt!
School of Language at MySpace
School of Language at Memphis Industries