Dean Fields - Any Minute Now (EP)

It's been much too long since Dean Fields appeared on this site - since June 2011 in fact - and his latest is again an EP, a very beautiful trove of six songs cohering like siblings in a loving family sitting in a comfortable parlor on a summer's afternoon, enjoying tea, each other's company, and a chamber recital of mellifluous folk rock extolling life's pleasures and curiosities. The CD is pervaded by the essences of Kenny Loggins, Ray LaMontagne, Josh Rouse, Nick Drake, Norah Jones, David Wilcox, Victoria Williams, and that rather glorious circle of the best troubadours and troubadouresses who never fail to delight.

Any Minute Now was elaborately planned, that's evident by the exquisite subtleties abounding, from the understated small orchestrations to the leisurely pace masterfully maintained to the architecture of the session musicians pastorally limning each composition. My favorite cut is "Not Again", an uber-wistful ballad whose key signature is the exact two words of the title, contrarily punctuating anticipation and hope with memory. Throughout the EP, the ambience shifts ever so slightly, and one can also practically picture Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and Mary Godwin reincarnated, sitting around a New York loft in blue jeans as a storm moodily drifts through the sky, all and sundry dreaming of elusive freedoms while pining for the bonds of blissful entanglement.

Fields' music is nothing if not refined, and one can easily see why it might take so long between releases. You don't get this stratospheric level of perspicacity by just jumping into the studio, clicking the board on, gabbling into a microphone, banging away at a guitar, and then slipping over to the pub for 35 pints of ale with the blokes, no. Dean is careful to put the capital 'A' in art while remaining sly in the endeavor. One doesn't figure out quite why one is so taken with his work until after a long sigh and a return from dreamland…if ever. After all, who needs analysis when just dwelling in the homey fantasia is more than enough? And if you want a foretaste of it all, check this 1:30 video out: http://deanfields.net/any-minute-now-album-out-now.

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