Published Jan 09, 2019Field Music's Peter Brewis has embarked on a new project with Sarah Hayes, of Glasgow-based group Admiral Fallow, entitled You Tell Me. For Hayes' first experience writing lyrics, the duo have presented a melodic and highly expressive collection of songs that belies their relatively new working relationship.
Musically, the record pushes forward with a sense of joy and abandon, despite its duality — Brewis and Hayes channel anxieties stemming from personal challenges through the songs, weaving in constructed scenarios, such as a "Water Cooler" romance. You Tell Me use restless, weaving lines of music, as heard in the piano-heavy verses of "Invisible Ink," to translate inner turmoil into outward expression. The duo's voices complement each other, harmonizing on the bass groove-led call to action of "Get Out of the Room," while Hayes is given an opportunity to showcase her voice on "Foreign Parts," a string-laden establishment that "we're making memories."
The brevity and strong melodicism of these songs is of course reminiscent of Field Music's work, yet You Tell Me feels like both an extension of the eldest Brewis brother's songwriting and an assertion of Hayes' voice. She channels the greats, such as Joni Mitchell, through the rolling piano and sweet singing of "Springburn," not to mention album standout "Clarion Call." As the title suggests, this piece of music rings out towards the listener, inviting them to listen closer to its melancholy. "If not now, when?" asks Hayes, before confessing "I can barely look after myself."
Coupling moments of intimacy with universality and a prevailing sense of hope streaked through with panic, You Tell Me have made a wide ranging and beautiful album. "Everything was meant, everything is clear," Hayes concludes in "Jouska," its title referring to the conversations one has internally. You Tell Me encourages listeners to reflect upon their own inner dialogues, while providing the soundtrack to life in all its complexity. (Memphis Industries)