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School of Language

Who? School of Language is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist David Brewis, one third of Sunderland, England’s Field Music.The one-man band still shares a studio/practice space with his otherbandmates (along with friends in the Futureheads), who continue toprovide input (and sometimes play) on each other’s individual efforts.Produced and recorded entirely by Brewis, School of Language’s debutalbum, Sea From Shore, drops Feb. 5 via Thrill Jockey.

What’s the Deal?School of Language has allowed Brewis the freedom to experiment withsongwriting structures, strange sounds and unusual techniques thatdon’t necessarily work within Field Music’s cheerful chamber-popsetting. He’s also discovered that household items such as toothbrushesand toolboxes make for interesting sampling fodder. Sea From Shoreis full of angular hooks, disjointed rhythms, off-kilter melodies anddissonant harmonies, all united under Brewis’s sharp pop sensibilitiesand soulful vocals. The four parts of “Rockist” offer differentvariations on the same vocal loop and chord progression, togetherforming a mini rock symphony of sorts. The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde andDavid Craig appear on “Disappointment ’99,” which has a similarlyenergetic and exuberant feel, while “Keep Your Water” is more lush withswelling layers of acoustic and electric guitars. Even when dealingwith his girlfriend’s hospitalization on “This Is No Fun” (she is nowhome and well), Brewis shrouds his sadness in syncopated riffs,whimsical synths and lines like, “This is no fun without you / thepictures and the parties and the booze that you don’t even drink.”

Fun Fact:Aside from his work as a musician, School of Language is of thescholarly kind. In 2001, Brewis graduated with a degree in Math fromNewcastle University. “I did win a prize in my final year for mymeritorious performance,” Brewis tells “They had to just senda cheque [sic] for about 30 pounds because I didn’t actually go to mygraduation!”

Now Hear This:
School of Language – “Rockist Part 1” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
School of Language at MySpace

Talk: Will you attend the School of Language?