Album Review: Fields by Junip: You’re Getting Sleepy…

If Junip’s new album Fields sounds familiar, it’s probably because of Jose Gonzalez. For the Zero 7 fans out there, you’ll recognize his voice from tracks like “Futures” and “Left Behind” on their album, The Garden. A side-project of Gonzalez’s, Junip shares many of Zero 7’s qualities while differing ever so slightly as to not sound like a knock-off.

Fields’ is a simple album. The rhythms are simple, the melodies are simple and the more than anything, the lyrics are simple. A quick glance at an online lyrics page shows each song’s frankness: short lines, short stanzas, lots of repetition. The uncomplicated words of Fields fits right in with Gonzalez’s delivery. His near-murmur on tracks like “Howl” sounds like a hypnotist lulling you into a deep sleep and you have no choice but to follow him into a relaxing calm. That being said, Fields is a good candidate for your “Sleepytime” playlist.

Carrying Gonzalez’s therapeutic chanting is Elias Araya’s contribution on drums. As simple as the lyrics, Fields’ rhythms fade in and out against the melodic synthesizer but remain constant throughout each track. As Araya’s holds down the tempo, the band’s third member, Tobias Winterkorn (who’s in this year’s running for Best Name) adds some melodic zazz to the mix. Easing in some tonal variation that gives Fields its lullaby-sound, Winterkorn joins his fellow band-member in persuading the listener to stop whatever they are doing and take a nap.

The floating songs found on Fields are perfect for fans of Zero 7 or anyone looking for the musical equivalent of a stress ball. Throw this album on when it’s time to chill out and let Gonzalez hum and strum your problems away.

– Tom “Wonderboy” Roth