You Tell Me
Stunned by the musicianship of Glasgow band Admiral Fallow while performing at a Kate Bush tribute gig in the city, Peter Brewis recruited their folk-rock flautist, Sarah Hayes, to appear on his band Field Music’s excellent 2018 album Open Here. Now, on this full collaborative effort, tentative bridges between the itchy rhythms of Hayes’s 2015 solo album Woven, which set traditional lyrics to her new arrangements, and the folky tendencies lurking among Field Music’s jagged prog pop open up into fertile vistas of common ground.
With a shared love of artists such as the Blue Nile, Rufus Wainwright and, on the rich, prog-tinged Foreign Parts, the aforementioned Kate Bush, these are mature, classy songs. They’re also abuzz with the thrill of a bright new musical friendship, audible in the confidences Brewis conjures on the punchy Watercooler, or Hayes’s unburdening of private griefs on the radiant, string-swept Springburn. Invisible Ink beguiles with staccato, needling keys unfurling into an expansive chorus, while Get Out of the Room invokes the nervy funk of Talking Heads. Kabuki, meanwhile, showcases the clarity and emotive power of Hayes’s voice, which throughout mixes well with Brewis’s fey tenor as first one then another steps into the spotlight. Emily Mackay