Field Division w/ Crystal City
Trumpet Blossom Cafe — Sunday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.
If music can sound at all like action, like a state of being, then the work of Field Division — a Des Moines area indie folkwave duo — feels like wandering. Combining the musical power and intense melodies reminiscent of 1970s-era rock and roll with the amalgamated Americana of the 1960s-’70s Laurel Canyon scene, Field Division puts a modern edge on a classic sound.
Hot off the heels of a European tour, Field Division will bring songs from their highly acclaimed debut album Dark Matter Dreams and successful 2014 EP Reverie State to the Trumpet Blossom Cafe on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.
Released in June 2018, four years after Reverie State, Dark Matter Dreams is a deeper dive into the more revealing songwriting of bandmates Nicholas Frampton and Evelyn Taylor. Heavier and more intense, the full-length album also carries extremely personal meaning to the band members themselves.
“A lot of the songs on Dark Matter Dreams are about transcending the darker sides of our mind and universe. The record mirrors our tumultuous lives at the time of recording and our inner struggle for peace,” the pair wrote in a recent email. “We lived and breathed the record for two years, facing trial after trial on the road, and that is reflective in the ebb and flow of light and dark in the music.”
For the duo, it was important that the music be arranged to accommodate a full band to capture the intensity and energy behind their vision for Dark Matter Dreams. This, as well as their touring and travel around the United States, led to exciting collaborations with Texas-based musicians — such as folk rock band Midlake’s McKenzie Smith — which rounded out the stronger, more rooted sound they hoped to capture on the record.
“We lived on the road while making [Dark Matter Dreams], which in turn led to the songs sounding like dreamscapes of the very places and experiences we lived through on our journey,” wrote the band. “We recorded much of the LP in the dry heat of Texas, at 9,300 feet in the mountains of Colorado, on a lake in Missouri and in suburbia, Iowa. Dark Matter Dreams is more dynamic and epic because we had the time and space to create the sounds.”
The record feels unique in this way — transient and honest, like the songs are being played just for you with the intimacy of a late night conversation on a road trip. Dark Matter Dreams was released as the first fulfillment of a recent contract between Field Division and U.K. indie label Bella Union, which has released music by alternative and indie giants like Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes and the Flaming Lips.
Although it is a more recent edition the the label’s catalogue, the raw intensity and decadent soundscapes of Dark Matter Dreams allow it to hold its own as a unique and powerfully honest record.
As the new year approaches, Field Division hopes to continue touring and release more music in 2019. But for now, see Nicholas and Evelyn at their upcoming Iowa City show at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe with fellow heartland duo Crystal City on Sunday, Dec. 9. Cover is $7.