IMOGEN and Foreign Fields colloborate to create something stunning
This year, Wisconsin’s Foreign Fields have returned with life-affirming new record The Beauty of Survival. If that wasn’t enough, they are also releasing a sister album, with re-worked versions of each track by a variety of talented artists. One of these artists is Newcastle’s own IMOGEN, who’s musical talents are beyond the imaginings of the puny human brain.
If you’ve seen IMOGEN live, you’ll know that her technical ability, voice and songwriting know no limits. On ‘Rose Colored – Renewed’, which IMOGEN also mixed and produced, we see a sensitive reimagining of an incredibly poignant and autobiographical track. The end result is a perfect marriage of intense lyrical beauty and soaring, ethereal vocals.
The track is delicately produced, cultivating an immersive pool of sound. IMOGEN’s vocals drift and shimmer, backlit by steady drones, which are sometimes discordant but invariably fit right into place. It evokes the feeling of becoming aware of your surroundings in a lucid dream; acknowledging and accepting that which is out of kilter with the real world.
Lyrically, the track takes us on a contemplative journey of yearning and introspection. Not one word is wasted in Foreign Fields’ poetry; the lyrics are tender and emotional, but never overwrought.
Still, they deliver gut-punching lines:
It’s the shape of her back as she weeps over his body
As we sing our little songs in the hospital room
It’s something that wouldn’t be out of place on the saddest album in the whole world (looking at you, Hospice by Antlers), but is delivered so delicately that it doesn’t come across as self-indulgence.
‘Rose Coloured – Renewed’ has a singular, immersive quality that’s impossible to pinpoint (can you tell?). It’s the dreamlike state you’re in as the anaesthesia is wearing off; it makes you feel, as much of Foreign Fields’ and IMOGEN’s music does, that you’ve just come through something. If empathy can be presented in a song, this is it. Delicate songwriting, paired with IMOGEN’s vocals and gorgeously unique production, hold you in a space where strength and vulnerability intertwine.
Words be Ellen Mcnally
Foreign Fields’ ‘The Beauty of Survival (Renewed)’ will be released in it’s entirety on Friday 2nd October
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I’m a freelance writer from the North East currently based in Sheffield. Currently studying her Masters in Creative Writing. Lover of sad tunes. Does a great dolphin impression. Bad poet.
You can watch two of her ten-minute plays for free here:
Off Peak: https://www.live.org.uk/index.php/now-online-10-minutes-tocall-home
Those Yet To Come (Christmas short): https://www.live.org.uk/now-online-5-plays-christmas