Field Report is the creation of Chris Porterfield, who cut his musical teeth with DeYarmond Edison (the other members of which were Justin Vernon/Bon Iver and Megafaun). After their breakup in 2006, Bon Iver and Megafaun went on to success while Chris hung back in Wisconsin, thinking his career in music was over. It was really just beginning. For the first time in his life, he began writing his own songs, which he spent the following five years carefully divining, killing off, revising, and honing. In December 2011, the record was finally recorded at Vernon’s studio (with engineer Beau Sorenson).
Porterfield explains, “We began to feel like it was time to make a record in the fall of 2011. Around that time, Bon Iver was touring, and came through Milwaukee. I was talking with Justin, and he said that he had heard through the grapevine that I finally had found the right people to play with. He invited us to use his space. We were particularly interested in recording at his studio (April Base) because of the large live room. We wanted to capture the sound of a band in a moment. We specifically brought Beau [Sorenson] in for this reason, and for his love of later Talk Talk.”
The result is a haunting set of songs that’s crafty, lyrical, and poignant. After sending a few unfinished tracks to select people, the response was immediate and impactful: producer Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Warren Zevon, The Pixies, Uncle Tupelo) fell in love with them and offered to mix the record, which he did in February 2012. The songs were also met with acclaim from many SXSW presenters, resulting in invitations to play at several high-profile showcases.
This momentum continued into the spring, as Rolling Stone’s feature on the band championed them as “poised to break out in 2012.” The sentiment was echoed by several other prominent media outlets such as SPIN, Pitchfork, Stereogum, and more. The most common praise has touched upon Field Report’s narrative lyrical content, citing Porterfield’s poetic prowess. “The songs always start out with the words,” says Porterfield, “If I don’t have something to say, there isn’t a point for this band to make music.”
After one of the pre-released tracks from the album, “Taking Alcatraz,” launched into the top 10 most downloaded blog tracks worldwide, Field Report accepted an opening spot on the national Counting Crows summer tour, once lead singer Adam Duritz heard the songs. “It is undeniable when you listen to Field Report,” Duritz enthused to Rolling Stone, “This is just great music.”
All this took place within two months of their first gig (between March and May, 2012). This summer, Field Report plans to tour relentlessly and allow fans to have the entire album digitally free-of-charge. “We understand that today people are more motivated to get music for free than to pay for it. We want to remove the barriers and the gatekeepers,” says Porterfield. “What’s important to us is that people who want to hear our music are able to do so, in the way we created it to be heard.”
Having a uniquely direct connection with fans is something Field Report has already emphasized. They have music freely downloadable on their site (www.field-report.org) as well as a phone number where fans can text a question directly to the band (414-215-9956).
FIELD REPORT is:
Christopher Porterfield: lead vocals, guitar
Nick Berg: Keyboards, synthesizers
Ben Lester: Pedal steel
Jeff Mitchell: Guitar
Damien Strigens: Drums
Travis Whitty: Bass
Videos & Press
Mountain Stage’s Favorite Performances of 2015 include Pokey LaFarge, Bahamas, Drive-By Truckers, Earls of Leicester, Field Report and Tift Merritt
By Joni Deutsch 2015 was a big year for Mountain Stage. We began a beautiful friendship with public radio music discovery machine VuHaus. We created a new, bite-size podcast called Mountain Stage 2 Go. And across nine venues in four states, we recorded over 100 live sets that showcased the best and brightest musicians in […]
[NPR.org] Every week, World Cafe recommends a new artist on the rise. July 23, 2012 Under the guidance of veteran singer-songwriter Chris Porterfield, Field Report’s folksy, Springsteen-esque tunes are rife with mellow acoustic guitars and electrified keyboards. A Wisconsin native, Porterfield formed Field Report (an anagram of his name) after the breakup of DeYarmond Edison, […]
[Paste Magazine] Published on June 13, 2012 By Patty Miranda Field Report Announces Record Deal, New Album, Tour Dates Field Report — the brainchild of Chris Porterfield, formerly of DeYarmond Edison — has signed with Partisan Records and is celebrating with a new self-titled album, out Sept. 11, along with summer tour dates with Emmylou […]
[Salt Lake Tribune] Music » Aimee Mann touring behind new album “Charmer” as she stops at The State Room. By David Burger First Published Oct 03 2012 06:02 pm Aimee Mann’s facial expression can be intimidating. While handsome, the 52-year-old musician’s features seem to indicate a complete lack of humor. Don’t believe it. Mann, who […]