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Crayon Fields play intricate, atmospheric pop songs that recall the minor key majesty and close-knit harmonies of 60s maestros such as the Zombies, the Byrds and the Beach Boys.
Animal Bells is Crayon Fields’ debut album, after forming in the last year of high school in 2002 and releasing two previous independent EPs. The album title refers to the animal-shaped toy bells that were used throughout the album and link its 12 concise songs. Basic tracks were recorded at Sub Studios with engineer Simon Knight, then taken home to be polished into their final shimmering shapes.
The band suffered a minor setback midway through recording when Sub’s Latrobe University studios were broken into overnight, and all the Crayon Fields’ gear stolen. Thankfully, after a tense week scouring local pawn shops and Cash Con- verters, all of the band’s equipment was recovered and the culprits brought to justice.
Nothing of this hiccup is evident in the finished product – Animal Bells is an unruffled, dreamy pop masterpiece. Geoffrey O’Connor’s often falsetto vocals and ringing 12 string guitar are ably accompanied by Brett Hudson’s nimble bass, Chris Hung on second guitar and Neil Erenstrom on drums. Nicole and Julian of fellow Chapter artists Minimum Chips also provide guest vocals.
In recent times, the Crayon Fields have supported many a touring national and international band, including the Uni- corns, Dirty Three, Electrelane, Deerhoor, Calvin Johnson, Kelly Stoltz and Architecture In Helsinki. Now with the multi-layered, resonant and gorgeous Animal Bells, it’s time for the Crayon Fields to step forward and be counted among Australia’s finest, most intriguing bands.