I’m going to make this post short and sweet since I just don’t have a lot to say or know what to say about Field Report’s new album Summertime Songs, because it’s just that good. I’ve been listening to this album A. LOT. and I have yet to find a flaw. The album really exhibits Chris Porterfield’s growth as a songwriter, composer, and human.
Summertime Songs still provides the tinges of folk in its storytelling like previous Field Report albums, but unlike the albums before, this album has a fuller sound that includes a lot of synth and pop hooks. The new arrangement style provides a vivid background to Porterfield’s vivid storytelling without overwhelming the stories. I think the best example of this is in the opening track, “Blind Spot” — a song that could be a metaphor about becoming a parent when life is no longer about you anymore and you realize that your decisions affect those you love and others in your life. And, “Never Look Back” is a perfect track for summertime listening and road trips. It has a really breezy and easy listening quality with a chorus that is catchy and easy to belt out with the windows down, hands on the wheel, and eyes on the road ahead. While “Summertime” deals with some heavy themes, Porterfield somehow manages to retain a musical composition that embodies what a summer hit is supposed to sound like. This is the type of song that if I were 10 years old again, I would probably hear it playing over the city pool’s PA system making it a constant reminder of that summer and a summertime song that I would sing as an adult while thinking of a happier and not-so-scary time in my life despite its lyrics. (If that makes sense to anyone?)
Although, I have loved all of the albums Chris Porterfield has released under Field Report, Summertime Songs is different in sound yet similar in that every song tells a story. In my opinion, Summertime Songs is more thought out, complete, and, although less intimate in sound, it is definitely more engaging. To me, this album is kinda heavy, but the music composition makes it feel light, like the ebb and flow, light and shade, and the seasons of life…Or, maybe I’m reading too much into it. That’s a possibility, too.