Looking at the press shots for Field Harmonics it’s easy to draw a few assumptions – the young eagle-eyed female singer, paired with the slightly brooding and weathered bloke, this is The Ting Tings all over again. Fear not, while Field Harmonics may match male grizzle with feminine eloquence, they do it with considerable more talent and aplomb than poor old Katie and Jules.
Opening track, Life, begins with a pulsating beat that you can imagine Lauren Mayberry singing over, but it’s clear Williams is her own woman – her strong and clear pleas give the verses added tension. However, this gives way to a gloriously soaring chorus that sounds like a Duran Duran staple, Williams’ cohort Rob Glover chipping in with backing vocals drenched in shameless new romantic pomp.
Even more 80s is the stand out track Girls. With an opening blast of chiming keys recalling Together In Electric Dreams, it’s such a delightful throwback you half expect Steve Guttenberg and Molly Ringwald to pop up in the music video. But this is no pastiche, the pulse stays contemporary and fresh, blending Balearic beats with a pop sensibility. It’ll be a summer anthem if there’s any justice.
Instance and Hearter are more brooding but no less inviting, permeating a glacial chill that’s usually mastered so well by Empire of the Sun. In both, Williams’ haunting, reverb-drenched coda is bathed in melancholic synths, while Heron, despite aping the intro riff to Blue Monday, shows the duo’s knack for diversification. Corners points to all maps of pop, steered by people with a deep knowledge and love for such an established, but misunderstood, artform.
Words: Sam Lambeth
Field Harmonics – Corners is released on CD, vinyl and digital via Wayside and Woodland Recordings on Friday 20 May 2016.