There have been a handful of albums in my life for which I simply couldn’t wait, but none have ever driven me to such distraction as Foreign Fields managed to as they prepared to release their 2016 album Take Cover.
During the lead up, Brian & Eric steadily built a fire of anticipation with atmospheric, incredibly tense, stunningly filmed 30 second teaser videos. Following these, the band teamed up with director Bennett Johnson to produce a breathtaking Standing Rock documentary featuring their song “Hope Within the Fire” and five gorgeous music videos conceived with dance company Indie-Ballet Collab.
I had seen interpretive dance music videos before and had frankly been relatively underwhelmed. This was something different. There was story here, momentum, meaning. Foreign Fields’ layered and explorative soundscape began plucking against an intrinsic human nerve, one which causes the body to weave and bend in response to it’s environment. The movements of these dancers made obvious sense to me. I could feel it. Perhaps we are all hardwired to dance, even if we only express a limited capacity for it, foot tapping, nodding, swaying… this is a valid form of expression and communication, Which I never recognised in myself before.
All the swirling elements within these songs were harmonising in a way I simply hadn’t heard before, even the sudden wailing of a saxophone made complete and perfect sense, and sought my limbs to stretch and flail with them, the lyrics of ‘I ’ began to transform in my own mouth “I need this, I need this!”
The album was set to come out in October and by September, after obsessively watching these videos on loop, I was overripe with expectation. And once the album finally was in my hands, I couldn’t get it out of my ears or my limbs. I still can’t.
And I think you may end up feeling the same.
This isn’t dance music, but this is definitely dance music!
p.s. All the lyrics are beautiful as always! “I’ve had a year spent in dust and dirt, I am leather stretched thin…” *a million heart emojis*
Listen here to the beautiful track: “Dry”.
(Song recommendation by Oak Ayling)