EP Review – Swainson Thrush by Field School (2022) (Small Craft Advisory)
One day this blog will get more than 11 readers. After all, over the past 4 years, readership has ‘almost’ doubled, ‘almost. every year from a starting point of 2 (thanks Mum). As we near fame, the chances are that someone will want to visit JanglePopHub (aka my study) to ask me my opinion on musical matters.
When they ask me “who was your breakthrough act of 2022” I will undoubtedly state Washington, Olympia’s Field School, with an immediacy that denotes the fact that there really can be no doubt.
Swainson’s Thrush is now the third EP they have released this year with each being absolutely superb and simultaneously both different and similar to each other, in their own ways.
Initially, this release largely drops the jangle-fuzz of their previous releases and moves towards the most familiar of 80s jangle-pop sounds. Here the opening salvo of the Days When We Had Everything We Wanted and Bombs Away are so very Morrissey’s solo work in aural texture. All jangled riffs, inflected vocal emotionality, rain and broken towns alliteration, this beautiful sound feels like it could break into Everyday is like Sunday at any point, such are their anthemic qualities.
I Don’t Want Eternity is the closest this release gets to their signature jangly fuzz and marries a slightly distant, The Reds, Pinks and Purples echoed style production to augment the beauty. This tracks punctuates the Morrissey-isms and the sheer beauty of the closing two tracks.
Field School always manage to find the most stunning of sounds in the slower tempo tracks of their releases, with memorable songs such as If You See Me Around Just Act Like You Didn’t(Hey Satellite) and When You Leave(It’s Only Everything) already cementing their reputation, despite the brevity of their career.
Our Last Goodnight and Like You, again find such perfect beauty in their slower tempo, guitar-pop led tracks. These have that ability to stop you dead in your mental tracks and let them consume you as if nothing else matters but being washed by the sound.
Along with The Reds, Pinks and Purples, this act is the very best around that the jangle-pop genre and all it’s nuances has to offer at present.