Folkwave is a far cry from the style of Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie, but this dreamy, psychedelic, contemporary cousin of the once harmonica- and acoustic guitar-driven genre is just as cathartic to listen to and has just as much to say. Take Field Division, a Nashville-bred duo who recently moved to Pilot Point. A self-described psychedelic folk-rock and dream pop outfit, Evelyn Taylor and Nick Frampton’s issued a new single, “Star Where Are You Now,” last week. It follows the pangs of loss, loneliness and “not knowing where someone is in the cosmos,” Frampton said.
“At the time, I was trying to write from a more universal perspective and kind of write about feelings that most people have felt,” Frampton says. Its melancholic undertone seems a perfect fit for today. “Star Where Are You Now” is the second single the duo has released this year and comes two years after their first full-length album, Black Velvet Skies. It’s a perfect example of the band’s light-as-air vocals and spacey and ethereal sound.
While recording the track at Redwood Studios in Denton, with members of Midlake McKenzie Smith and Jesse Chandler, and Scott Lee Jr., of The Texas Gentleman, Taylor and Frampton got to know the local music scene better and credit their Denton friends for their decision to move to North Texas in January.
Taylor and Frampton also worked with Smith in 2015 on Black Velvet Skies when he opened up his Redwood Studio to the duo. “As much as I have loved working with them on a musical level, including this amazing new track, the friendships that were created are the real reward … I gained lifelong friends,” Smith says.
Taylor and Frampton had spent time in Denton years earlier playing the now-defunct Oaktopia Festival and smaller shows at Dan’s Silverleaf and Harvest House. They cite Claire Morales and Mountain Song as a couple of their favorite local acts and say opening for touring acts like Spoon and Delta Rae have been some of the most exciting shows they’ve played. The two initially met in their hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, but began working together in Nashville in 2013 when they released their debut EP, Reverie State.
Although 2020 has dampened their long-term touring plans this year, and their income, Taylor says they are lucky to have been able to tour for almost two weeks earlier this year, They had plans to do more touring out west and make a living on the road. She also says that although they have less pressure to hit the road, which brings its own kind of stress, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated all artists in some ways.
“In the past, we used to joke about how we all became hermits working on albums — staying in the studios all the time felt like a quarantine. And now we’re in a pandemic, and it’s darker than you could imagine,” Taylor says.
Today, Field Division is a true indie band, having ditched their label after their last album. They declined to elaborate on the falling out but say they are picking up the pieces and feel confident in their new endeavor. They’re in the stages of putting together a new album but aren’t sure just yet when it will be out.
In June, the duo began donating profits to the American Civil Liberties Union and say they are looking into donating to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in the future. Major proponents of the Black Lives Matter movement, Taylor says: “We were encouraged by this movement, but I can’t believe we’re still debating basic human rights. We want to use our platforms as artists to raise money.”
Listen to Field Division’s new single “Star Where Are You Now” below: