Greg: There is a certain level of romantic in every songwriter. There has to be. Whether for a person, place or even just the concept of romance, for or against, it makes up a significant part to every songwriter. And with songwriters, you can’t ever stop them from writing.
For Field Medic (Singer/Songwriter/one third of Rin Tin Tiger: Kevin Sullivan) his writing just keeps going. With the release of A Book Worth Reading on Valentine’s Day, Field Medic can’t be stopped. I, for one, cling to the rolling folk webs he weaves with every track and A Book Worth Reading is no exception.
Clay: I think the interesting piece of Field Medic, and this EP in particular, is the stark contrast of those rolling folk webs with the spartan sublimeness of the music. The “just a boy and his guitar” (and some country-girl backing vocals courtesy of Old Grey Whistle Test) tonality complements Sullivan’s poetry no matter which tack it takes, from “I don’t feel like dyin’ since she washed up on my shore” to “I want to spend my days off on opiates and inside of you.”
The narrative of this love album deviates from the message we usually get served up on February 14th. Sure, the core is there: boy meets girl and feels complete; but the pathos of an individual whose life may be a mess coupled with the fingerpicking acoustic guitar is devoid of sappy romance. The love it invokes is less a couple enjoying chocolates out of a heart shaped box and more of a broken toy that a child has picked up and decided is worth caring for.
Greg: Sullivan’s sound has typically leaned toward the darker perspective and via Field Medic we’ve seen him exercise precisely that. A Book Worth Reading is proof that love isn’t always hearts and little men in diapers, but rather, it pulls back the curtain to reveal that love is a common ground of embracing the flawed pieces in each other. I found it not so much simply finding a toy worth playing with but an expression that the Hallmark vision is a disgusting skewed profit-driven monster and love isn’t always pretty.
In the grand scheme of Valentine’s Day, you’ll struggle to find something more honest and down to earth than this three track release. It may seem small, but I think this is a big step for Field Medic.