Between the release of Field Music's wonderful first and second albums, they sated the public with an EP of B-sides and earlier work. Yeah, it sounds like a potential disappointment. But instead, Field Music's "in between" collection is a delightful, sunny collection of solid pop songs.
It opens with the cheerful hums of a bunch of men, sounding a little like they're singing a medieval hymn without opening their mouths. Then the powerful drums kick in, spurring on a Beatlesy little tune, with suitably solid lyrics: "Can you function completely/Are you sure you're not hiding something?/Without it can you function/Or it is distract from your vision?"
The songs that follow it up are a colourful mishmash of styles -- Flaming-Lipsesque psychedelic pop, some ringingly catchy guitar melodies, little electro-edged ballads played on acoustic guitar, crazy schizophrenic pop, and soaring retro melodies with killer harmonies. They sound like lost Beatles tunes.
You can tell from these songs that Field Music tried out all sorts of music before settling on their current sound -- in this EP, they diddle around with various styles and sounds, and only a couple songs sound like their debut album did. But in all the songs, there's a sunny, slightly oddballish sound.
And the instrumentation is a bit unusual here -- the completely insane "Feeding The Birds" is a clash of styles, clashing guitars and savage violin, before evening out into a ballad. Nuts. But in most other songs, Field Music sticks to the instrumentation they know best -- ringing guitars brushing up against sweeping strings, along with some solid drums that set a catchy beat.
I'm not sure which Brewer brother does most of the vocals, or if they alternate. But whoever does most of the vocals, he does it well -- smooth, soulful vocals, sometimes with sweet harmonies. And they tend to sing songs that are pretty upbeat, but with the occasional moment of sadness. "Well I'm sad/I should laugh at myself/So i'm not sad for long..."
"Write Your Own History" was intended to keep the fans happy while Field Music created their second album "Tones of Town," but it has some lovely pop tunes in its own right.