Released: 22 June 2018
Label: Bella Union
Field Division’s debut album Dark Matter Dreams has great ideas on show but ultimately feels more like a sketchbook than a finished canvas
Published in The Skinny
Arguably, the most effective sound for seducing the human ear is that of promise. In 2014 Field Division released their tremendous debut EP Reverie State, revealing the folk-rock duo’s penchant for fusing dreamscapes with Americana, and inherent within its essence was the sense of something greater to come. Finally, that something has arrived in the form of their debut album Dark Matter Dreams.
Plucked and strummed steel exists side-by-side with swelling strings throughout, but never better is it than on Big Sur, Golden Hour. Harmonies present themselves warmly from get-go track River In Reverse, although it has (along with another couple of cuts) a tendency to sway into a poppier realm, which doesn’t gel greatly with their established sound. However, it is with the inclusion of numbers like Siddhartha and Innisfree (Lets Be the Peace Now) that keep them rooted while showcasing their willingness to experiment – successfully for that matter.
All of this being said, there is an issue on audible display in regard to necessity. Their previous EP felt as though their chests had to be relieved of its weight, giving it an alluring honesty and organic aura. Dark Matter Dreams definitely exhibits elements of this, but it feels more engineered and less vital. Ultimately, the album lacks a unity to pull its slew of ideas into one seamless experience, appearing more like a sketchbook than a finished canvas.
Although it wavers in places, Field Division deliver enough on the record to keep their promise of potential topped up until next time around.