A glistening, effervescent spring greets listeners in the opening minutes of Field Patterns’ Heavy Palms. Synthesizers sparkle into life creating sonic reflections as blinding sunlight bounces off watery surfaces to create a bright yellow glow. This is music for a new dawn, imbued with all the hope and wonder of the infinite possibilities beyond our doorstep. Heavy Palms opens in this space, but the truth of limitations lurks just out of sight.
Upside down silhouettes fall from overcast skies on the methodic rhythms of “Swamped!” Decaying gossamer lace covers all the surfaces with the quick-paced arrangement building a surprising tension, hinting at the journey taking an unexpected turn. Stopping to take a breath in the quiet humidity of “Calling,” I feel refreshed in the chorus of insects and birds. It’s a turning point on Heavy Palms where the dreams of yesterday shift into the reality of tomorrow.
Lamentable solace rings in the melancholic folds of album standout, “Between the Reach.” Field Patterns crafts flowing passages that rise and fall like tides pulled outward by a harmonic flare. Chord changes repeat in patterns dotting out stars in a black sky, with each repetition feeling further out of reach. “Between the Reach” is a song of realization; a fleeting moment where the momentum and inspiration that’s driven us to this point starts to bleed out into the aural folds surrounding us. Most surprising, though, is the sheer beauty embedded in that moment and Field Patterns recreates it perfectly.
Heavy Palms sits in my sonic sweet spot of synthesizer-driven music that’s both emotive and melodic. Field Patterns has been on a tear recently, but across these six pieces finds a new pinnacle. In the closing reaches of the short-yet-potent “Heavy Palms II,” a truce steels determination to push ahead and find out what tomorrow will offer anyway. Hope has always been a transient thing, but the search and desire for any sliver of it is always a good reason to keep moving.