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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

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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