David Brewis

The Soft Struggles

Image of David Brewis - The Soft Struggles

About this item

After three albums as School of Language, David Brewis’s next contribution to the ever-expanding Field Music universe is this jazz-inflected acoustic record. It will also be the second album release on Field Music’s newly formed Daylight Saving Records label, intended as the home for the Brewis brothers’ extra-curricular projects.

The Soft Struggles veers away from Field Music’s eclectic palette and instead leans into the luminous spontaneity of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and the breathy, string-laden chamber pop of Colin Blunstone’s One Year. Several of the tracks were built around a single day of live recording at Field Music’s studio in Sunderland, with David’s brother Peter on drums, Sarah Hayes (Admiral Fallow, You Tell Me) on piano and flute and Faye MacCalman (Archipelago) on clarinet and saxophone.

“There’s something a bit magical about a bunch of musicians together in a room being thrown in at the deep end,” says David, “So many of my favourite records were made quickly by musicians sitting a few feet from each other, playing songs they’d never even heard before the session began. That’s what I tried to do with this album. A chord sheet, a set of lyrics, a brief chat about tempo and then, okay comrades, see you at the other side.”

The soft struggles of the songs themselves touch on weariness and loss, disappointments allayed or accepted, anxieties overcome or temporarily elbowed aside, sometimes grasping for romantic, or parental, wisdom, and when wisdom isn’t quite in reach, there are songs of consolation and wry hopefulness.

The album also features contributions from singer Eve Cole, trombones by David Smith and Craig Hissett, saxophones on The Last Day by Pete Fraser, and strings courtesy of regular Field Music collaborators Ed Cross, Jo Montgomery, Chrissie Slater and Ele Leckie.


Can We Put It In The Diary
Surface Noise
When You First Meet
It Takes A Long Time
Start Over
Keeping Up With Jessica
High Time
The Last Day
The King Of Growing Up

Back to top