Field Harmonics is a project that pairs the young voice and songs of Bryony Williams with the soundcraft of Rob Glover, of epic45. Corners is their second album of bright, bold electro-pop, with plenty of attention paid to texture. Although make no mistake, this is full-blown pop, not a set of ambient dabblings. On Wayside And Woodland Recordings.
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- Corners by Field Harmonics
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 02 June 2016Field Harmonics are two people, one of whom is the founding member of Epic 45 who, I understand are very popular amongst our customers. This is a very different beast entirely to that pastoral crew though and is made up of propulsive electronic pop music full of ‘80s touches that will appeal to fans of Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys. The opener ‘Life’ even begins with the kind of orchestral synth stab not heard since 1986. Still when the cheesiness is kept to a minimum ‘Life’ ain’t actually too bad and mirrors the kind of expansive synth pop of New Order in their finery, similarly ‘Girls’ does full on euro disco with hi energy synths and nice chopped spliced vocals in lieu of where would usually be a chorus. Though these songs are nicely written and expertly produced there is certainly a tendency to head a little far into using novelty period touches such as the synth drum fill which is funny perhaps once but over the course of the track you are begging for them to let it lie. More ethereal is ‘Instance’ which best utilises Bryony Williams sweet voice with a series of swoops that drift slowly into the ether over a slower BPM. Field Harmonics are playing a dangerous game here, they regularly straddle awfulness but just manage to stay on the right side of the great Erasure divide with some keening melodies and that sense of melancholy synth pop must always have. There’s one incredible album high point - a cover of Low’s ‘Words’, this is superbly done as they take this remarkable song and introduce it to cavernous synths and an almost Cocteau Twins ambience. I would have said previously that it would be sacrilege to cover such a song but they do it really well and any advertising execs out there should take note. It would make a perfect indie nerd friendly John Lewis Christmas ad soundtrack.
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