Field Medic - fade into the dawn - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Field Medic - fade into the dawn

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2019-04-19
Field Medic - fade into the dawn
Field Medic - fade into the dawn

A troubadour’s vital skill has to be speaking the truth or having you imagine that they are. Kevin Patrick Sullivan, whether knowingly or not, does this with his very first line in the track ‘used 2 be a romantic’, with “I need a cigarette, those fuckers talked over my whole set”. That’s a solid truth right there for anyone who had tried their hand at strumming out their songs on a stage.

Tackling his third album fade into the dawn, his second signed to a label, Sullivan looks to push his lo-fi folk even further under the moniker Field Medic. Hailing from the west-coast he supplies plenty of downtrodden but oddly uplifting music, something solidified on this latest album.

Following in the footsteps of recent folk-troubadour footsteps, you’ll find shades of early Iron & Wind on ‘henna tattoo’, with a scruffy chord pattern and a sense of magic in the mundane specificity. On ‘songs r worthless now’, and indeed on several tracks, Sullivan delivers a hangdog melody which reminds you of Fionn Regan.

Of course, no folk album is complete without a touch of harmonica and the bellied twang of a banjo, here ‘mood ring baby’ has you covered. It feels, strangely, like the most complete track on the album, combining all his best talents in this lo-fi arena. “I’ll love you always, even if you’re bad news” is an achingly relatable line, and combined with the clever “you’re origami paper, I don’t know what to make of you”, Sullivan really shows off his strength for writing.

The use of a drum machine might sound slightly out of place, but it’s not used in an aggressive manner, even as it pumps across the intro on ‘everydayz 2moro’. Perhaps wrongly, it makes you think the drums have been demoted on this album, or that no one was available to play. This is most likely not the case, but it’s the weird result of adding such a sound to a solidly folk-guitar album.

If you’re looking for a track to prop you up in your troubles, you’ll do well to find better company than in ‘the bottle’s my lover, she’s just my friend’. A hazy organ drones out, with soft, lazy strums providing the perfect backing to Sullivan and his almost-country-yodel vocals.

While not fully imbued with passion throughout, these are a collection of lo-fi guitar tracks to carry on the genre. Neither classic nor crappy, it’s likely to fill a hole in the void while you wait for your favourite troubadour type to reappear.

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