EP Review – Hey Satellite by Field School (2022) (Small Craft Advisory)
One little pubic hair in the margarine and my usually reserved wife can call me the sort of things that would make a sailor blush. She is beautiful, but her mouth can be ugly when riled.
In her less volatile moments she often still resorts to calling me a ‘brutal realist’, who cannot resist calling out those ‘fluffy sentimentalists’ who wax lyrical about their latest spiritual incarnation or absolute devotion to some fella who creates art that paint drenched copulating baboons appear to have mustered.
Then I remember, that when it comes to my love of music, that I have the regular propensity to become very ‘gushing fanboy’, very quickly, about the latest object of my aural affections and I (nearly) forgive such overt enthusiasm.
Olympia, Washington’s, Field School is the latest musical crush. Just two EP’s in (their initial It’s Only Everything EP, that was released in January 2022, being almost audaciously accomplished for a debut offering) and I am already all over them like a cheap suit, as the 10 tracks they have so far released, reveals them to be purveyors of all manner of lof-fi / fuzz laden jangle-pop acumen.
In an eclectic release, the very best of it is heard in Moon Jellies and Jennifer Valentine. With the fuzzy climate of the No Museums or the Real Numbers aesthetic, mixed with jangly under-production that is so reminiscent of The Ashenden Papers, this is a guitar-pop sound that thrives of the best of the jangly, lo-fi modernity.
The remainder of the EP present varying shifts in guitar-pop nuance. The laconic, U.S. Highball style, jangly indie-pop of I’m Starting To Feel A Bit Like Myself Again drifts away from such glorious cutesy, towards the more sinister melancholic, Belle and Sebastian twee-pop of If You See Me Around Just Act Like You Didn’t, whereas the beautiful title track develops the melancolia further to offer the most beautifully jangly track, Elliott Smith never eventually scribed.
I have no idea whether there will be a full length album released soon by this act. I truly hope so, as I genuinely feel the longer format could be the impetus for the right sort of critical acclaim to get this act into all the ‘indie ears’ that matter.