Field Assembly
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Field Assembly

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter

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Dec
07
Field Assembly @ Capitol Theatre & Arts Centre Box Office

Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Windsor, Ontario, Canada

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Music

Press


Full disclosure: I work across the hall from Adam Fox, who makes music using the name Field Assembly. As someone who sees him at least 200 times every year, anyone reading this will think my words are biased. Even Adam would tell you so. I promise this is not the case!

As a Music Director, every year I sample or review at least 1000 new albums. As a critic, and even as a casual listener, the first sounds on an album are very important to drawing my attention or interest. The first thing you hear on “Alkali” is a booming and haunting drum, immediately followed by what sounds like a sustained note from a Wurlitzer organ (or perhaps an electric guitar drone), and very light acoustic guitar strumming. Instantly the ambiance and tone for most of the album has been set. Perfect! A few more layers are added (electric piano and xylophone?) before lead vocals for the first verse come in, and the rest of the song builds from there.

Imagine that kind of song crafting for all nine songs, and you’ll begin to understand why I strongly believe in the quality of this album. It’s not necessarily just the instrumentation choices either. The songs have nicely structured verses, choruses, and bridges. The production has a warmth that suits Adam’s vocal style and the tone of the album. The mixing and mastering has fantastic separation of instrumentation, and great care was put into the home recording process.

I readily admit that lyrics are usually the last thing I pay attention to as a listener. When I do, musicians like Jason Molina and Jason Pierce (of Songs: Ohia/Magnolia Electric Co. and Spiritualized, respectively) pique my interest as they often revisit the same lyrical themes and word choices. On Broadsides & Ephemera, at least three songs reference the topic of ghosts, so that’s the first thing that caught my ear. Combined with what sounds like references to rural farm life on “Daylight,” the mental imagery of that song reminded me of Jeff Lemire‘s Essex County trilogy of graphic novels. Other songs like “Alkali” also create vivid mental pictures of desert sunlight, August air, and northern legs.

Despite readily calling Adam a friend, I cannot pretend to know what any of these songs are about, or what they might mean to him. This year I did a pretty good job hiding the fact that I feel lost, and a number of the songs have been internalized, reinterpreted, and acted as the soundtrack to these directionless feelings. In addition to all the qualitative or musically descriptive praise that I have given Broadsides & Ephemera, it means the most to me on an emotional level (as cliche as that will sound). - Chris White


Those of you who appreciate the melodic tranquility of Great Lake Swimmers or Sun Kil Moon, hopefully didn't miss Field Assembly when the band played the In the Dead Of Winter festival earlier this week. The nine songs on the band's debut do not stray too far from the mid- to down-tempo and hushed vocals of the genre (except for "When the Sun Can't Find You," on which the joyously upbeat chorus is a pleasant surprise), but more than satisfies with its rich aural textures, Lyle Adam Fox's equally warm vocals and refreshing melodies. - The Coast, Halifax NS


It's better in the dark… I know, I know." Embedded within the alluringly barren "Out of the Arms," Windsor, ON singer-songwriter L. Adam Fox sums up Field Assembly's M.O. on his debut, Broadsides & Ephemera. Like his peers (and fellow Windsorites) Elliott Brood and Sunparlour Players, the majority of his songs focus on the struggles of the working man, the only difference being that Fox's struggles remain strictly of the heart. Although songs like "Alkali" and "Poisoned Mind" conjure up comparisons to the holy trinity of indie roots rock (Oldham, Molina and Kozelek), Fox takes his impassioned whisper/wail a bit further, incorporating Sweet'n Low melodies, coming off surprisingly dramatic and attractive run through sand-raked guitar and pebbles-on-a-beach keys, courtesy of Fox and some of Windsor's best musicians (including Johnny West and members of Yellow Wood). A weathered and clever songwriter, Broadsides & Ephemera shows Field Assembly as a project that harmoniously removes the slash between singer-songwriter.
(Independent) - Daniel Sylvester - Exclaim!


Discography

Broadsides and Ephemera (2009)
Narco (Summer 2013)

Photos

Bio

Field Assembly is the recording and performing project for songwriter, producer, and performer L. Adam Fox. He has produced one full-length release under the Field Assembly moniker, “Broadsides and Ephemera” (2009), and multiple titles with his previous group, Ten Year Drought. Since 2000, he has been writing, producing, releasing, and touring independent releases in Canada and the eastern United States.

His recordings have received critical acclaim and have enjoyed regular airplay on many community radio stations across Canada (“Broadsides and Ephemera” broke the top 50 national chart in June 2009) as well as airplay on CBC national and regional music programs. Fox is also well known in the independent Canadian music community through his music and his work in community radio. He has toured Canada with well-known Canadian independent artists like Great Lake Swimmers and Two Minute Miracles, and in 2010 joined Halifax singer-songwriter Gianna Lauren for a Cross-Canada train tour as part of Via Rail’s on-board musician’s program. Field Assembly has shared stages with Kathleen Edwards, The Sadies, Rick White, Paper Beat Scissors, Matt Mays, and many well-known independent Canadian artists.

Field Assembly is a project designed to evolve popular, roots-based North American music, investigating themes of transcendence and the blurry line between consciousness and subconsciousness. Fox’s songs are deceptively beautiful allegories and his music is distinct from conventional singer-songwriter fare by its lyrical depth.

Lyle Adam Fox goes to sleep at night in Edmonton but has also been found to slumber over the street sounds of downtown Toronto, Windsor, and before that, a family farm in the small Southwestern Ontario town of Colchester South, where he was raised.

Fox’s songs have drawn critical praise, and comparisons have ranged from Red House Painters to Califone, Neil Young to Giant Sand.

Praise for Field Assembly and L. Adam Fox:

“[a] clever songwriter … a project that harmoniously removes the slash between
singer-songwriter” The Coast, Halifax, NS

“alluringly barren... songs for the end of your day. This is music that makes you hear what a sunset would sound like if it was a song.” Exclaim!