‘… Giles Field tells a mean story, and writes an even better song.’ – Beat
‘…very personal and a touch political, somewhere between Billy Bragg and The Bedroom Philosopher…’ – Rave Magazine
‘… a voice that brings to mind musical storytellers such as Aussie pub rock legend Dave Warner… (and) geek rock godfather Jonathan Richman…’ – Melbourne Leader
‘… tells his story, with passion, humour and dorkish charm…’ – thedwarf.com.au
Giles Field arrived suddenly on Melbourne’s singer-songwriter scene in 2009, winning a small but loyal fan base with his Candle Records-inspired acoustic folk. Then, just four years later, after playing to tiny audiences and selling an even smaller number of records, he left the scene just as suddenly. Now comes the not-very-long-awaited best of collection 'Simple Songs' featuring 18 tracks spanning his four-album career.
Growing up in a non-musical family in Traralgon, Giles taught himself a few improvised two-finger guitar chords in his late teens, in order to put his self-penned lyrics to music. It wasn’t until after he was hospitalised with a psychotic illness during his university years that he pursued song-writing more seriously, as part of his recovery.
Giles spent much of that recovery time recording rough demos of tracks like 'Sunsets' and 'Beautiful Pain' on a four-track tape recorder in his bedroom. Urged by family to try and find a wider audience, he sent his work out around the country and was discovered by producer Tim Oxley (Roger Loves Betty) who invited him to record at his home studio on the south coast of New South Wales. The resulting album was the 2009 release Too Many Love Songs, which managed to fill out Giles’ raw anti-folk sound with full and inventive instrumentation.
Giles’ career never quite got out of first gear however, hampered in part by his severe stage anxiety. After nervously navigating some open mic nights in his, by then, adopted city of Melbourne, he was left in the strange position of playing his first ever gig at his own album launch at the Empress Hotel. Although the show - largely in front of friends - went well, promotion for the album stalled due to Giles’ reluctance to play further gigs in order build a live following.
Despite the muted response to his debut, Giles decided to continue with recording his rapidly increasing catalogue of songs, returning to the unadorned sounds of his demos. The result was '…Tells a Story', a concept album about love and life in Melbourne.
Drawing on a wide array of influences, from the wit and lyricism of Paul Kelly and Billy Bragg to the pop of Roxette, Giles’ work references contemporary Australian life with understated charm. Listeners may also find some similarity with local favourite the Bedroom Philosopher (‘Songs from the 86 Tram’) who Giles supported late in 2010 at the Northcote Social Club. This proved to be one of Giles’ last live shows, soon after deciding to eschew gigs in favour of more songwriting.
2011 saw the release of 'Giles Field’s End of Year Break Up', notable for its collaborations with Kate Walker ('Invisible Love') and Courtney Barnett ('I Can’t Hear You, We’re Breaking Up'). The duet with Barnett in particular proved to be Giles’ highest profile track thanks in no small part to Courtney’s continued international success.
After the Richard Jeffrey-produced record 'Applause Please!' failed to find an audience in 2012, Giles decided to retire from music to concentrate on his newly found passion of philosophy. He is currently doing his PhD in philosophy at Deakin University, Melbourne. He claims not to miss music.