Field Music Share New Song “Money Is a Memory” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Field Music Share New Song “Money Is a Memory”

Making a New World Due Out January 10, 2020 via Memphis Industries

Nov 20, 2019
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Britain's Field Music (anchored by brothers Peter and David Brewis) are releasing a new album, Making a New World, inspired by the aftermath and repercussions of World War I, on January 10, 2020 via Memphis Industries. Now they have shared another song from the album, "Money Is a Memory," a song about Germany's war reparations. Listen below, followed by the band's upcoming tour dates.

A press release describes the song in more detail: "'Money Is a Memory' is about Germany's war reparations and is written from the perspective of an office worker in the German Treasury preparing documents for the final installment on reparation debts - a payment made in 2010, 91 years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed. A defining, blood-spattered element of 20th century history becomes a humdrum administrative task in a 21st century bureaucracy." 

The band's David Brewis had this to say: "The whole album is really about consequences, and how the consequences of that war are still with us. 'Money Is a Memory' is probably the most explicit example of that - decisions that were made a hundred years ago still casting a shadow. The initial premise is a bit comical - the admin assistant going through their bureaucratic duties - but buried away inside those papers you can imagine the echoes of millions of lives being turned upside down."

Previously Field Music shared Making a New World's first single, "Only In a Man's World," which was one of our Songs of the Week. Making a New World features Field Music's full live band in the recording sessions for the first time in a while.

Making a New World began when the band performed two World War I-themed shows for England's Imperial War Museum at their sites in Salford and London in January 2019. The basic tracks for the album were recorded the day after the London Imperial War Museum show. While the majority of Field Music's studio work has been put together by Peter and David Brewis, the one-day session featured Field Music's full live band (Liz Corney on keyboards, Kevin Dosdale on guitar, and Andrew Lowther on bass), with Peter and David on guitar and drums respectively. This is the first album since 2007's Tones of Town that could be considered more of a full band album.

A previous press release described the themes and inspirations of the album in more detail: "Making a New World [is] a 19-track song cycle about the after-effects of the First World War. But this is not an album about war and it is not, in any traditional sense, an album about remembrance. There are songs here about air traffic control and gender reassignment surgery. There are songs about Tiananmen Square and about ultrasound. There are even songs about Becontree Housing Estate and about sanitary towels."

The jumping off point for the Imperial War Museum performances was, as the press release explained, "an image, from a 1919 publication on munitions by the U.S. War Department, made using 'sound ranging,' a technique that utilized an array of transducers to capture the vibrations of gunfire at the front. These vibrations were displayed on a graph, similar to a seismograph, where the distances between peaks on different lines could be used to pinpoint the location of enemy armaments. This particular image showed the minute leading up to 11am on 11th November 1918, and the minute immediately after. One minute of oppressive, juddering noise and one minute of near-silence."

David Brewis explained further in the previous press release: "We imagined the lines from that image continuing across the next hundred years, and we looked for stories which tied back to specific events from the war or the immediate aftermath. In writing these songs, we felt we were pulling the war towards us - out of remembrance and into the everyday - into the now."

David also had this to say about "Only In a Man's World" in the previous press release: "I found myself researching the development of sanitary pads - not a statement I've ever imagined myself making - and was surprised at how little the advertising material has changed in a hundred years. It's still, 'Hey Ladies! Let's not mention it too loudly but here is the perfect product to keep you feeling normal WHILE THE DISGUSTING, DIRTY THING HAPPENS.' And you realize that it's a kind of madness that a monthly occurrence for billions of women - something absolutely necessary for the survival of humanity - is seen as shameful or dirty - and is taxed MORE than razor blades?! At every stage of making this song, I had to ask myself, am I allowed to do this? Is it okay to do this? And I cringed in the next room when I first showed it to my wife. But I think confronting my own embarrassment is a pretty fundamental part of what the song is about."

We interviewed Field Music earlier this year about their Imperial War Museum performances and you can read that here.

Field Music's last album was 2018's Open Here. In May David Brewis released 45, a concept album about President Donald Trump released under his School of Language solo side-project moniker. Meanwhile, in January Peter Brewis released You Tell Me, the self-titled debut album for his side-project You Tell Me (a duo with Sarah Hayes of Admiral Fallow).

Field Music Tour Dates:

Regular Tour Dates:

31 Jan - Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
01 Feb - Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery
21 Feb - Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
22 Feb - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
27 Feb - Whitley Bay, Playhouse
28 Feb - Manchester, Dancehouse
29 Feb - London, EartH

Instore Appearances:

09 Jan - Liverpool, Phase One instore
10 Jan - Manchester, Piccadilly Records outstore at Soup Kitchen
11 Jan - Edinburgh, outstore at The Mash House
15 Jan - London, Rough Trade East instore
16 Jan - Bristol, Rough Trade Bristol instore
17 Jan - Brighton, Resident Music instore
19 Jan - Newcastle, Reflex outstore at The Cluny

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