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Breaking Artist: Fields Sweeten Up Atmospheric Guitar Rock

July 4, 2007 8:27 PM ET

Who: London-based post-punkers who merge the urgent, distorted-guitar-driven sound of their musical heroes Sonic Youth with a tender, melodic sweetness. "Our first rehearsal was October 2005, we started gigging six weeks later and we signed a deal within about four months of getting together," says singer-songwriter Nick Peill of the band's rapid rise, which involved nailing down a record deal, hitting the road with Bloc Party and releasing their debut album, Everything Last Winter, in April. "It was all a bit ridiculous."

Somebody Feed the Band: After touring the world, Fields -- Peill, singer-keyboardist Thorunn Antonia, singer-drummer Henry Spenner, bassist Matty Derham and guitarist Jamie Putnam -- have learned the importance of decent catering. "When you're going on tour, particularly in England, it's really hard to find good food," Peill laments. "We once played a show in Middlesbrough in England and all they had in the dressing room was one slice of preformed ham in the dressing room -- for five of us. That was very disappointing."

Hear It Now: Get caught up in a fast acoustic strum that builds into the mesmerizing swirl of "Song for the Fields."

Watch It: Check out Fields talking about (and then performing) their signature song with a string section.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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