Field Report – Marigolden (album review)

by Woody on October 6, 2014

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I have a lot of friends that travel a ton for work. The things they get to do sound great – drunken boondoggles, golf at some of the nicest courses, unreal tickets for premier sporting events, etc. And while there are those times, there is also the drag of constantly being on the road away from your family. Being in a band might present different highs and lows on a daily basis, the drag of being away from one’s family remains the same.

The strain that presents is a central theme throughout the album. An album that lead-man Chris Porterfield wrote and recorded soon after giving up drinking. I love the difference that plays out between the 2nd track Home (Leave The Lights On) and the penultimate track, Summons. Home, an upbeat track with flecks of electronica, has Porterfield yearning for his home suffering from the homesickness. There is a sense of hope throughout their tune. And with Summons, a considerably more downbeat track, Poterfield sings “I’ll be coming home to you,” in a fashion that combines exhaustion and defiance; hope being replaced with determination.

Ambrosia is a piano-based ballad that sees Porterfield stare down his drinking and where its leading his life. It is a stark and honest look that is on par with Isbell’s self-reflection on Southeastern. There is a line in the closing track, Enchantment, where Porterfield cashes in his 30-day sobriety chip for a kiss that is fucking brilliant.

I loved Field Report’s s/t debut but Marigolden blows it out of the water. It is the antithesis of a sophomore slump. Everything about is better – writing, production, playing, etc. It is an introspective album that is every bit as good as Isbell’s Southeastern and Strand Of Oaks’ HEAL, in that regard.

Our 2013 HearYa session is here

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Field Report is here

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