music review : These New Puritans – Field of Reeds

These-New-Puritans-Field-of-Reeds1released by Infectious on 06.10.13

Fans of 2010’s Hidden be warned: this is a very different animal for These New Puritans. Gone are the tribal drums, the samples of swords and chains, the excited, kinetic moments, and inspired chants sent with venom and vinegar. This album is a quiet, toned down, mellow, primarily ambient affair. That was quite a shock for me as I’m sure it will be for other listeners familiar with their last release, but once you get beyond that and start listening to the album as its own entity, you can begin to appreciate its merits. Present again are the horns and classical flourishes of the last album, only this time they have moved to the forefront. The result is a lot closer to Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, and TNP have reinvented and distanced themselves from their past work in the same way those albums did for Mark Hollis. Songs move slowly, utilizing subtle, somber repeated figures, favoring mood, texture and atmosphere over other concerns. The results are a bit bewildering at first, but at the same time downright beautiful in spots, particularly on repeated listens. “Nothing Else” borders on jazz. “Organ Eternal” is reminiscent of Philip Glass’s minimalist approach or Krautrock. If nothing else, this record is a brave one; it flies in the face of everything they created, and will have critics and fans scrambling to the phones (or the blogs) to discuss it among one another. It also finds them making music not quite like anything else out there, venturing into very deep, uncharted waters. – Paul Morin

recommended track : Organ Eternal, Field of Reeds, Fragment Two
genre : post rock, ambient, indie rock
similar artists : Talk Talk, Bark Psychosis, Radiohead
8/10 : music 8 : lyrics 8 : recording quality 10

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