27 May 2022

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Rewind Fields - Album Review: Rewind Fields

19 Feb 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Rewind Fields is the experimental pop recording project of Auckland singer-songwriter Callum Lee, who discovered some previously unfinished and abandoned songs on an old laptop and revisited them to make an album. When one understands where the songs originated from, this makes far more sense as it feels exactly as if it has been recovered from somewhere, as opposed to something organically pulled together at a single point in time. There are so many different styles and techniques on display that it is actually even hard to describe the base, but possibly shoegaze mixed with lounge, jazz, and psychedelia might be a good place to start.

Songs are often based around last Sixties electric piano/organ, alongside plenty of brass, but there could be a banjo in the background or electric guitar taking the lead, while the percussion can be quite deliberate yet passive. The bass guitar is fluid, with some lovely delicacy, while there are strange effects at times, and the music often moves in unexpected ways. There may be lush vocals, or rather lengthy instrumental passages at others, and the result is a pop album which is highly experimental. This moves it out of the mainstream, as one is never quite sure where the music is going to lead us, as while motifs may be repeated within a song, there are often surprises within each, while one song can sound very different indeed to the next.

Apparently, Callum used the original material, but layered new sounds on top of the old, to envisage what he was thinking originally. A great description within the press release is “sonic collage”, a term I have not previously come across yet that makes perfect sense when applied to this release. It feels very dreamy at times, yet songs such as Move That Way seem almost deconstructed, with elements put together in a way which very nearly do not work at all, but somehow so, which means that on one level it is relaxing yet on another is quite disturbing. The album is full of musical layers, much like its construction, so there are depths within it and one can disappear into the gyre and wonder if there is way out the other side.

This is not music to be played in the background but rather needs to be played on headphones when the listener has the time to do just that, listen.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

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