DESPITE THEIR death before dishonour pure indie, obvious love of the nineties indie aesthetic, and distinct Anglophilia, Field Mouse have largely gone under the radar.
The quintet's 2014 debut, Hold Still Life exemplified a contemporary trend in indie - a return to the early nineties shoegaze and dreampop - that marriage of muscular distortion with pop hooks and a keen sense of melody, a union of opposites that in practice makes sense.
New album, Episodic does not vary hugely from that template, but the sound is cleaner, brighter, and more importantly, brims with a greater sense of confidence and strength, as testified by the urgent rush of opening track 'The Mirror'.
Yes they wear their Lush, Ride, Madder Rose, and Slowdive influences on their sleeve, but so what? To see young musicians hold up such acts as inspirations is a great thing, and a welcome door leading forward and back for new and old indie fans. Also, bittersweet mini-dramas like 'The Order Of Things' and 'A Widow With A Terrible Secret' (listen for a clear nod to Los Campesinos! 'You! Me! Dancing!' ) reveal strong songwriting and craft.
It is to be hoped Field Mouse gain more attention among indie fans. The fact Allison Crutchfield (Waxahatchee ) is one of a number of guests on the album hints at the kind of respect they command among their peers.