In the summer and fall of 1987, I was in no position to sample the first two albums by The Chesterf!elds The Kettle and Westward Ho! When I started college in the Boreman South dormitory at West Virginia University, I was in a deep — and I mean DEEP — classic rock wormhole. On their first records, The Chesterf!ields band was jangly, but still New Wave-adjacent. Meanwhile, I was buying tickets for Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse of Reason tour.
I say this to my shame.
I wouldn’t intersect with The Chesterf!elds music or their descendent acts, including The Blue Aeroplanes, for another four years. Now The Chester!elds have released a single from an upcoming album that makes me excited to go back in time.
New Chesterf!elds album leaps from 1988 to 2022
The Chesterf!elds released three albums in 1987-1988 with a rotating cast of characters. They’re not easy to track and the sound that was not perfectly indie pop. At times they hit C86 notes; at others they toggled between ska and a more angular, reformed New Wave. Their 1988 single “Blame” is a good example of how the band defied easy labels.
However in the middle of July 2022, fully 34 years later, The Chesterf!elds band previewed their upcoming album New Modern Homes with the single “Our Songbird Has Gone.”
“Our Songbird” perfectly updates The Chesterf!elds’ sound while lovingly name checking 20 or more indie pop luminaries. It’s a tribute to the 2003 death of Chesterf!elds founder Dave Goldsworthy, their songbird, and I can’t imagine anything more lovely.
The Chesterf!elds band is back and they’re beautiful!
Honestly, what hasn’t changed since 1987? The Chesterf!elds offer a touching tribute to a late friend and update their sound overnight. It is welcome, and I’m excited to hear New Modern Homes when it’s released on September 23.