music conceived or created in the midwest often contains a distinct, singular tone. regardless of the genre pursued, there always seems to be an acute awareness of the fragility that accompanies living in a four-season environment and a need to convey its emotional byproducts. field division are champions of this musical mindset. though currently based out of nashville, the duo’s origins are firmly rooted in des moines and their music frequently embodies the vast skies and endless open fields characteristic of iowa. after slowly releasing five very strong songs over the past two months, field division has packaged them into a cohesive unit entitled reverie state, an ep that proves to be a grandiose, cathartic release.
while each song holds up on its own without question, the sequence in which they’re presented on reverie state provides some extra weight. “faultlines” is an appropriate opener, one that finds evelyn taylor and nicholas frampton experimenting with chamber pop harmonies akin to those pursued by fleet foxes and other folk-minded outfits. perhaps that’s why “of lives we’ve never known” feels so contrasting. while “faultlines” explores the pastoral realm of field division’s sound, its immediate successor is much darker and more sinister in instrumentation, a subterranean bass line more so felt than heard holding the track together. combined with taylor’s soaring vocal melody throughout the chorus and frampton’s spacious, rolled guitar chords, “of lives we’ve never known” finds the duo quickly flexing an equally-impressive dream-pop muscle.
genre confines aside, field division blends old with new very well. “hollow body weather” is an amalgamation of the band’s two schools of thought, while “modest mountains” finds taylor and frampton enlisting the help of milo greene’s andrew heringer, a wise feature that enhances their already-rich vocal harmonies. reverie state closes with “to innisfree land,” a conscious effort by field division to save their finest offering for last. it’s the most texturally dense song on the ep – flute countermelodies and multiple guitar lines are constantly vying for attention – but the musical union of taylor and frampton is clearly front and center, their vocals mixed equally as they take on the song’s chorus in tandem.
reverie state is a concise package that showcases a young project of seasoned musicians with a bright future. just as the colder months begin to set in, field division have provided a batch of songs to us warm while simultaneously stirring up nostalgia for the summer of yesteryear. dig in.