Stuck On Play Everyday - Field Division's "Reverie State"
By Spike Brendle
Before I even start, whatever I write could never really describe my connection, feeling, or emotions perceived when I listen to Field Division. The duo from Des Moines, Iowa, Evelyn Taylor and Nicholas Frampton describe their music as “folkwave,” which will indubitably depict itself after your first listen. Musically, their five song EP, Reverie State, treads through light and dark, bringing with it harmonic perfection, and bright, honest melodies. Complemented by Taylor’s dreamy, soft vocals as heard through just enough reverb to carry them at a wavelength hidden somewhere right above the clouds. It’s a fantasy possessed adventure from beginning to end...and I can’t stop listening.
I came across Field Division through my good friend Spotify Discover as a suggested artist. Just the first ten seconds of the intro track, “Faultlines” was enough to garnish my full attention. I was immediately drawn to Taylor’s ominous, yet calming vocals. The chorus of the track builds up into a much larger, almost tribal-folk atmosphere consisting only of “whoas” and “oohs” blanketed comfortably in harmonies. While somewhat changing format, but consciously preserving their intentions, the EP only gets better from here.
The next track, “Of Lives We’ve Never Known,” drastically changes the mood to a dark, almost nightmarish ambiance with airy, reverb-drenched Victoria Legrand style vocal delivery accompanied by a haunting string arrangement reminiscent of an 80’s fantasy horror flick. That may come off as not desirable, but Taylor lifts us from the depths of perdition with an ethereal bridge of “oohs,” portraying as wings of an angel. By the end, we are left unscathed in a higher place than where we started, encompassing a subconscious feeling of relief.
The underlying synth arrangement in the next track, “Hollow Body Weather,” shines of hope, discovery, and peace. The sweet, siren sound enters of Taylor singing over a lone acoustic guitar, with synth hidden below that drift in and out in a stealthy, mysterious manner, later accompanied by Fleet Foxes-esque harmonies. A driving bass line picks up the momentum, again with a heavenly chorus of “oohs” and “aahs.” At around 3:45 all goes quiet, and Taylor echoes her mind telling us “I remember now” for the rest of the track, and an arpeggiated synth creeps in and takes us to the climax, where all aspects of the track come together for a symphonic, blissful finale.
The second to last track, “Modest Mountains” soothes the mood with a comforting melody and simple, warm guitar tones. “I hear the coast is peaceful, so they say...” Taylor proclaims, and plays the song off seeming to be the end of what has been a subconscious journey of the soul through music. Just when contentment sets in, “To Innisfree Land” is the perfect epilogue to this five track euphonious voyage. A stern, forbidding guitar riff questions the perception of what we have since been led to believe in the tale just told. The chorus in this track transpires like nothing I have ever heard, adding to the uncertainty and inconclusiveness of the journey taken, leaving the door open for the next Field Division “reverie.”