An interview with the band who supported Bon Iver's 2018 Milwaukee show.

Radio Milwaukee recently caught up with Christopher Porterfield, frontman for Field Report. The band has a new album, “Summertime Songs,” released Mar. 23 via Verve Forecast. With an expanded sound, Porterfield opened up about moving away from the auto-biographical to set the stage for a cast of characters and an album to dig into and discover.

Christopher, you are in a time in your life where you started a family, own a home, you’re sober, things sound like they are going really well; but this new release covers some dark themes. Does it feel like a juxtaposition to call the new album “Summertime Songs?”

It’s definitely my version of a summertime record. It’s sort of having fun with that idea as far as what that is supposed to be, and what that’s capable of. I think it’s kind of a pop record with a lot of red meat still for earlier Field Report fans. You can kind of lean in with it, and you can lean back and rock out at times, too. It felt good to do something intentionally to have that duality. 

We wanted to leave a lot of opportunities for the listener to discover. Our intent musically was to leave a lot of things open-ended enough where someone could climb in and use it as a tool for self-discovery, or at least some reflection. On the surface, it will totally function in the car in the background, but it thrives in a one-on-one, record-and-listener environment, too.

The characters in your lyrics have such a reality to them, it feels like they must be autobiographical in some way. Did you imagine yourself in scenarios and the way you would react? Or is it you empathizing with others?

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Some of it starts with me, but as it develops, I discover maybe somebody else would have a better take on where I’m heading or where we’re going. A lot of this record is from the perspective of other people. I had a family member who was going through divorce and some friends who were breaking up. Having a look at the idea of love in various stages of its life, from both sides or multiple sides was an inspiring exercise.

This story is from our partner 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

Find the full interview with Field Report on 88Nine.