Field Studies are generating quite a buzz in Nottingham’s burgeoning music scene. They first came to my attention in 2012 via friends of friends and Facebook groups, and I have followed their steady rise ever since.
I don’t like to sum up a band’s sound in a handful of musical influences, but I will. They’re indebted to the likes of The Maccabees, Foals and Sigur Ros, but have managed to craft their own ethereal post-rock brand. From the opening track, the band’s distinct sound flooded the top floor of The Bodega with a confidence that betrays their years. I listened – swigging Red Stripe and feeling somewhat stranded between the throngs of sixth-formers, parents and interested locals – and I was enchanted.
The space geek in me enjoyed the fact that their debut EP is entitled Celestial and has cover reminiscent of Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ – but their music is equally as attractive.
Kasper Sandstrom’s spectral guitar melodies lifted the music to every corner of the venue. Chris Bailey’s vocals are wonderful and, when he dared to look at the audience, his spirit was captivating. Charlie Howarth’s basslines thrummed deep throughout the venue and, combined with Andrew Harrison’s steady drumming, added a substance to the music that threatened to float away at times.
This combination works best on standout track, ‘Cabin Fever’, a funk-influenced number that had the audience’s toes tapping and their heads bobbing in synchronicity.
The whole EP feels like a slow, melodic lullaby, but one that keeps you transfixed rather than pushing you into the ether of deep sleep. The final track, ‘Hibernate’, best sums up the EP, with Bailey gently crooning
I’ll be there in a hurry
The song conjures images of trying to reach something that is forever out of your grasp. In my case this was a copy of the EP – I wandered around aimlessly trying to find one until the bassist’s mum thrust a copy into my hand after unearthing a box of CDs. The set had been so enthralling that the merchandise guys had clearly been caught off guard.
Field Studies are playing at Nottingham’s Jam Café on Friday 10th January.
Their EP ‘Celestial’ is available for download.