Field Notes is the moniker taken by Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Chad Hanson for his solo debut. Hanson has been playing in bands since his college years, forming both The Dutch Flat and the pop-centric project, Mines. Over the years, Hanson has tackled punk/prog/math rock, upbeat pop and even serious and complex post-rock. With Field Notes however, Hanson finds himself stripping his musical self naked, using simple production and minimal use of electric guitar. Relying heavily on acoustic guitar and his multi-dimensional vocal strengths, Hanson has weaved together an introspective, thoughtful collection of songs that recall everyone from Elliott Smith to The Promise Ring to Death Cab For Cutie. Album opener "Racing The Lanes" utilizes a simple acoustic strum and marching drum beat to support the sweetly understated vocals of Hanson, while "Color Of Sunshine", which could easily be a b-side from Basement On The Hill, ditches drums all together in favor of some eerie ambient background noise and a pair of finger-picking guitars. Interestingly enough, the clear stand-out track from this album is one of the few electric guitar-led songs, "Sister Says". Pulling elements of Midwestern indie rock into the mix, the song's insanely catch hook asks, "Do you feel like this when you're down?" - a fitting line, as the entire album seems best suited for those times when the listener is a little down and out. So if you're feeling a little under the weather, a little heartbroken, a little bummed out about your job, pissed about a leaky roof, or just in the mood to spend some alone time with your record player, let Field Notes provide the soundtrack. You'll be glad you did.
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