If 2014's Hold Still Life marked Field Mouse's evolution from a fiery two-piece into a full-fledged band, then 2016's Episodic was the letting go -- the abandonment of past persuasions for something altogether more untamed. Where the band's initial work was self-recorded by founding members Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral, the new record is the first time that the quintet has composed an album together from start to finish, and the result is a record that feels altogether more defined.
Recorded in Philadelphia with Hop Along's Joe Reinhart and written during a 12 month period that delivered sudden family illness and a deteriorating relationship, Episodic is fashioned from 10 feverish bouts of guitar-pop led by Browne's fearless vocals and informed by an instrumental backing that underpins the entire record with a vibrant concoction of guitar, drums and keys.
Showcasing the band's ability to modulate mood and tone, the record shifts from the spiky immediacy of tracks such as "Accessory" and "A Widow With a Terrible Secret," to the more spacious moments, such as monumental centerpiece, "Beacon," without ever losing sight of the scuzzy, melodic pop songs that remain Field Mouse's distinct forte.
Featuring guest turns from Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Allison Crutchfield (Swearin'/Waxahatchee) and Joseph D'Agostino (Cymbals Eat Guitars), Episodic is the sound of a fully-realized band truly coming in to their own -- honest, direct and immensely powerful.