For the most part, Good Field’s new album Future Me inhabits the musical realm of goodtime, understated indie rock, it’s enjoyably summery vibes setting the mood to ‘relax’ and laying it’s simple riffs and satisfying chord progressions over you like a comfortable hoodie. Although Good Field are hardly a band to set pulses racing, moments like the opening jazzy shuffle of the opening of ‘Telecommunication’ or the driving beat of album closer ‘Do It’ do have a surprisingly strong sense of direction for a band prone to a bit of shoegazing, albeit tempered by a warm and dreamy production. It is this melding of pop elements with sonically blurred tones that is Good Field’s strong suit and means that they would certainly not sound out of place on mainstream radio or indeed at a large summer festival out in the countryside as the sun sets. Lead single ‘Business’ is reminiscent of The Magic Numbers (sans female vocals), whilst the opening title track could almost be an outtake from Coldplay’s debut, and yet both tracks retain a tame but confident sound all of their own. There are also hints of country guitar, though they are never overstated, sometimes even sitting in the background behind the light wash of keyboards, and always allowing Paul Price’s voice to sit atop the soundscapes with some indisputably memorable hooks. Unfortunately, at a few points during Future Me, when the melancholy takes hold it pushes the songs over the edge into blandness. ‘Hospital Bed’ is an awkwardly blatant token sad song and doesn’t quite carry enough emotion to cover its lack of inspiration. This weighs the middle of the album down, interrupting the flow and breaking the spell of the otherwise competent songwriting. Three tracks later however, ‘Wait’ offers a better attempt at real dejectedness, it’s soft synths lulling the listener into a dreamscape just like the more depressed end of shoegaze should do. On the whole, Good Field elicit a response summed up well by their own band name; like a good field, they are pleasant, fit to purpose and very agreeable as an aid to whiling away a July afternoon. Whether they will hit the big time with a reserved and unassuming sound like this is, however, hard to call.
For fans of: Brazos, The Magic Numbers, Kings of Leon