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Music Review: School of Language – Sea from Shore

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When Sunderland-based indie rock/pop outfit Field Music announced an indefinite hiatus early last year, it appeared that their brilliant sophomore release Tones of Town would mark the end of something great.

But as it turns out, it was just the end of the first phase of Field Music. According to the band, they opted to walk away from Field Music "the band" in order to concentrate on honing their creative skills without worrying about the confines of being in an "indie band." They declared their intention to retain Field Music as a company, and to release new music under different monikers.

The first result of this new arrangement is School of Language's Sea from Shore. It is an almost entirely solo effort, recorded by Field Music singer/guitarist David Brewis. Most importantly, it is proof positive that the genius of Field Music lives on, whatever the name.

Beginning with the first entry in the excellent four-part "Rockist" song suite (each linked by varying loops of Brewis vocal effects), Sea from Shore is full of the same tight yet inventive arrangements that made Field Music so enjoyable. There is also more experimentation on this record ("Rockist Part 2"), although not at the expense of ultra-catchy hooks. Brewis is at the top of his game on this album, as demonstrated by songs ranging from the rocking and infectious ("Disappointment '99", "Poor Boy") to the shimmering and emotive ("Ships").

Highlights: "Disappointment '99", "This Is No Fun", "Extended Holiday"

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