Field Day takes a confident step forward
“Isn’t there anything that you want?” Joan Anderman and Dan Zedek sing in the closing seconds of “Go No Go,” the title track of the new EP out Saturday from Boston-based foursome Field Day. Listening to this EP, it’s obvious that yes, there is something that they want.
The two former Globe staffers — Anderman was a rock critic, Zedek the paper’s design director — each play guitar, sing, and contribute original songs to Field Day, each having traded deadlines for distortion pedals. Bassist Phil Magnifico and drummer Jefferson Riordan round out the group. Anderman departed the paper in 2010 and dived into the art of songwriting while interviewing musicians including Black Francis, Tori Amos, and Yo-Yo Ma on the subject of aging and creativity. She shows her work on this EP, and not just in her three catchy, witty songs. Since Field Day’s 2015 debut recording, her voice has morphed from tentative but tuneful to a confident and earthy yelp. It cuts to the center when she whips out a surprise high note on “Finished With You,” a breezy, biting kiss-off to a leechlike old friend, and it floats on the bouncy “The Future is Here.”
Zedek, who left the Globe last year, digs deeper for his rock ’n’ roll rasp on his songs, including “A Gun” and “Born a Wonder.” He sounds like (depending on how old you are) your friend who’s in a band, or your friend’s dad who’s in a band, whose invitations to shows you ignore — until one day you don’t, and realize that he’s probably onto something. His contributions aren’t as arresting as Anderman’s, but stick in the mind in their own way. “Come on now, all you restless gamblers,” he sings on “Go No Go,” obviously and honestly self-referential. “Trade in your past for some shiny thing.”
But it’s not shiny, not at all. There is a refreshing lack of rock ’n’ roll posturing or artifice in Field Day’s music and manner. As Anderman and Zedek stare directly at the camera through their glasses — chunky black frames under a knit beanie for her, thin wire-rims for him — in the Zedek-edited “Go No Go” video, they look neither untouchable nor unknowable. Their riff-driven songs burst with crunchy-soulful harmonies, slightly fuzzy guitars, and boisterous heart.
Field Day performs at Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, Saturday at 9 p.m.