Album Review: Nite Fields – Depersonalisation by Killian Laher
In this day and age it’s rare that a new band emerges out of the blue, without the requisite hype accompanying them. However, having discovered Australia’s Nite Fields in the last few days, for me the band is a surprise, though allegedly singer Danny Venzin and the band spent 4 years recording their debut album.
Depersonalisation is their debut, and it’s not the disparate collection of songs that 4 years’ recording might produce. No, this is an old-fashioned album, designed to be listened to from start to finish. Equal parts dream-pop and post-punk, it opens with the tone-setting murk of almost title track Depersonalised before the descent into the blackness that is Fill The Void. Unhurried, unshowy yet strident guitar provides the bed for Venzin’s crooned vocals. It’s a strangely dated, yet timeless sound. You I Never Knew is like The Go-Betweens on downers with a dash of Smiths for good measure, and that is as good as it sounds, Venzin’s droney vocals contrasting beautifully with the bright, jangly guitars. Come Down opens with an annoying piece of percussion before The Cure’s drum machine circa 1982 provides a perfect pace for Venzin’s drawl to really inhabit the song.
Pay For Strangers is a change in pace, all dreamy and swirly, succeeding where the laconic closing track Winter’s Gone doesn’t, the latter meandering in a Chameleons vein to no great effect. The bassline of Hell/Happy is almost goth but it merely precedes one of the brightest moments on the album. The blushingly perfect guitar arpeggios which open Prescription might prevent some from getting much further on this album without immediately hitting repeat. In terms of creating a moody, frosty yet bright atmosphere this track would be hard to improve on. Though penultimate track Like A Drone comes close, like a mixture of The Go-Betweens’ Cattle and Cane and The Smiths’ There Is A Light That Never Goes Out played out on plaintive acoustic guitars.
But like I said, it’s the whole rather than the constituent parts. It’s not often a debut album like this arrives fully-formed, and it will be fascinating to see where Nite Fields go from here. Expect this to soundtrack many a chilly spring evening for those of a somewhat melancholy disposition.
Track List –
2. Fill The Void
3. You I Never Knew
4. Come Down
5. Pay For Strangers
8. Like A Drone
9. Winter’s Gone