sat 15/06/2024

CD: You Tell Me - You Tell Me | reviews, news & interviews

CD: You Tell Me - You Tell Me

CD: You Tell Me - You Tell Me

Union of Admiral Fallow and Field Music members favours the latter over finding a new voice

You Tell Me's eponymous album: more than a Field Music album made with a guest singer and issued under another name

This 11-tracker begins with 35 seconds of rhythmically bedded instrumental colour which opens the curtain for a lovely, folky slab of art-pop titled “Enough to Notice”. Odd touchstones surface: Skylarking XTC, Stackridge, Dirty Projectors. Yet there’s something else going on. During the album’s second track, it dawns.

Field Music. This is who You Tell Me evoke. It’s all here. The clipped approach to melodies and rhythms, the dry production, the suggestions of a reined-in prog rock and the precise string arrangements.

Unlike Field Music, the voice most often heard is female and crisply elegiac, but once the correlation is made it’s impossible to displace. "Water Cooler", You Tell Me’s fourth track, could actually be Field Music. But then again, it is followed by “Springburn” which alludes to affinities with the early solo Sandy Denny and the also-early, less florid side of Rufus Wainwright.

Predictably, half of You Tell Me is also half of Field Music. It’s been apparent since 2008 that Field Music cannot contain the musical ambitions of sibling mainstays David and Peter Brewis. Back then, they recorded separately as School of Language and The Week That Was. There has also been an outing as part of Slug and a David Brewis collaboration with Maxïmo Park’s Paul Smith. You Tell Me brings together Peter Brewis and Sarah Hayes of the folk-inclined Glasgow band Admiral Fallow.

Although the songs are all co-written, the stylistic upper hand on You Tell Me is that of Field Music. However, when it’s sidestepped this becomes more than one of their albums made with a guest singer and issued under another name. Head for the plaintive “Clarion Call” to discover that You Tell Me have their own identity. When they hit this bull’s eye, "baroque art-folk" sums it up.

Despite Field Music’s stylistic upper hand, You Tell Me have their own identity


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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