Field Mouse | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist
Stream Field Mouse’s all-encompassing new LP Episodic in full via Bandcamp
What a way to start an album. In an interview with Bandcamp for the premiere of the band’s latest effort Episodic, which is now available to stream before its Friday release, frontwoman Rachel Browne of Field Mouse shines some light on “Mirrors,” a strong album opener that comes in swinging. Co-written by Browne and guitarist Andrew Futral, it was put aside incomplete until Browne added lyrics in to encompass the anger and experience of a recent breakup.
First line “what a way to say fuck off,” seems to pull from the sudden manner in which she found her ex had already moved on before the dust had even settled. This raw, in-the-moment energy is not just felt in this song, but also in the nooks and crannies of the rest of the album, in some songs more tucked away and subtle, others heard in a simple voice crack or passionate yearn.
Writing in the midst of her pain instead of recalling it after time had passed helped Browne craft a uniquely personal track rife with a certain kind of honesty so aching relatable and human.
Unshaken in her pursuit to tell it like it is, sans any pretense, Browne leads the Philadelphia / Brooklyn five piece through the ups and downs of Episodic‘s ten track, each a giant leap in Field Mouse’s progression. The album does not harp on any one feeling, however, never picking at old wounds so they won’t heal.
The album’s title itself means a narrative with connected parts and events, and whether a track hones in on longing, guilt or resentment, they all fit together effortlessly to weave a multifaceted release. There’s stages to grief, there’s good days and there’s bad days — with the range of the human experience at our fingertips, Episodic never gets stale. And Browne would be damned if she gave anyone who hurt her all of the spotlight.
Album bookends “The Mirror” and “Out of Context” were released in anticipation of the full album release on August 5th via Topshelf Records, as well as “The Order of Things.” “Out of Context” is the whisper to “The Mirror’s” roar, while “The Order of Things” airy nature sends the album to new heights.
Brand new tracks like “A Widow with a Terrible Secret” and “Accessory” offer excellent guitar work that take us from brooding to bouncy in a matter of lines. On “Do You Believe Me Now,” the band channels ’90s alternative greats like Veruca Salt and Luscious Jackson for a fuzzed out throwback track transfixed on dual vocals and repeated choruses.
Stream the album in full right here and be sure to check out the XPN Concert Calendar to find tickets and more info on Field Mouse’s August 4th show at Boot & Saddle, the first date on their fall tour of the U.S.