Archive for the ‘Nite Fields’ Category

Nite Field — Depersonalisation

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Hearing Nite Fields for the first time was a revelation. They spoke to my experiences in a way that starkly differentiated from most of the other bands in the city and I was immediately drawn to their bleak, depressing soundscapes. Brisbane can be a lonely place to live if you feel like an outsider, and the joyless concrete buildings and oppressive, endless summer offer little in the way of hope or pity. Nite Fields’ epic, wintry sound seemed to mirror these emotions — that feeling of otherness and the misery it caused, being holed up, away from other people, hiding from the omnipresent heat. It felt like there should have been more bands like Nite Fields coming out of Brisbane. They described a kind of universal experience. Still, they stood alone.

Depersonalisation is the debut full-length release from the band and probably the strongest and most consistent example of their sound released to date. It’s post-punk, but not the way it’s usually written in Australia, bearing a closer resemblance to atmospheric Eastern European synth bands like In A Lonely Place or Blablarism, rather than the slightly more traditional UK or American influences. The sweeping synths and deep bass on intro track “Depersonalised” give way to the ringing opening guitar line of “Fill The Void”, where depressed vocals and driving bass lines make for an obvious initial comparison to Joy Division, though the reverb-soaked guitar chords and beautiful melodic instrumental work that build throughout the song takes it in an entirely different and satisfying new direction. “You I Never Knew” is a bittersweet pop song with parallel guitar lines dancing around a relentless military beat, while “Come Down” carves an achingly beautiful melody out of wall-of-noise reverb, cutting guitar, and heavy rhythmic drumming, showing off the band’s masterful combination of dark ambiance and memorable pop song writing.

Like Joy Division, most of the songs are driven on by drums and bass. But where Nite Fields differentiate themselves is through their understanding of melody and harmony, with repeating swirling guitar riffs and icy reverb, over hypnagogic monotone vocals. There are a few surprises on this release, like the clean-sounding traditional goth rock of “Prescription” or the psych-acoustic folk of “Like A Drone”, but generally the revels in a consistent and melancholy shoegaze. Rarely do you hear this type of music sounding so detailed and clear, but Nite Fields have avoided the propensity of similarly-inspired indie bands to bury their intricacies in fuzz,. It’s a wonderful mix of high-quality mixing, nostalgic influences, honest lyricism, and emotional vocals, making for an inspiring debut.

Depersonalisation is out now through Felte.