In the past, Peter and David Brewis, otherwise known as Field Music, have relied heavily on an extensive cast to make their music. On their most recent album, Open Here, the duo focuses more on what they’re capable of as creators.
A lot has happened politically and socially since their release of Commontime back in 2016. The brothers live the type of roller coaster life that many don’t truly realize. Not only did the place they call home, the United Kingdom, withdraw from the European Union, but both members have had kids in the past couple of years.
It was only right for them to address their trials and tribulations without much help from other artists. They manage to intertwine their life changes with optimistic, and sometimes chaotic production throughout the 40 minute running time.
Thankfully, they avoid insensitivity on “Count it Up,” where the brothers try to find a way to tell their children what to expect in the stereotypical and discriminatory world that we live in today. While for many, the lyric of, “if people don’t stare at you because of the color of your skin/ count that up,” may sound like a way for them to brag about how much they know about social injustice, to me it comes across as people who are trying their hardest to understand our current social climate.
They try to find peace with the Union on “Goodbye to the Country,” while also wrestling with the fact that they must tell their kids why such a distressing event occurred. They bring passion and energy on the rock-based anthem, “Check on a Message,” where the duo tackles our desire of wanting something good to happen politically, at least until something negative occurs based off of the polls.
Heck, they even delve into the topic of gender roles on “No King No Princess,” where the guitar-heavy track is another outlet for the brothers to explain to their kids what it means to be a woman in this country, and how life can consist of double standards. It’s an integral message for children, especially since we are still living in a world where many still view women as inferior to men. The song is also timely considering the many sexual assault cases being brought to light in the entertainment business.
“Share a Pillow” shows the more protective side of parenting, with the Brewises hanging onto their children as long as possible, until they have to explain what kind of place they are a part of.
For the most part, the production is on point here. However, the first and final tracks on this album (“Time in Joy,” and “Find a Way to Keep Me”) are a bit elongated, and add little to an otherwise meaningful project. The tracks act more as grand intros and finales that feel out of place, especially considering how subtle the rest of the album is.
Nonetheless, the Brewis brothers integrate a good deal of art pop and rock throughout the record, keeping a consistent tone rarely seen with artists who are trying to experiment with different sounds. The duo’s use of percussion is especially compelling with regards to the lyrical message.
Open Here is less about the duo giving themselves props for being two white people who know a lot about this world, and more about how to guide your children, and what it means to have kids in this cruel place we live in. In fact, it seems like they are still learning as the album goes on. They are aware of their current position, and they are doing all they can to understand everyone and everything surrounding them. Isn’t that all you can ask for in a musician in this day and age?