Fields of Mars

No one wants to see a movie with only one scene. They want futuristic robots, spaceship battles and epic storyline where the strong-willed hero gets the feisty hot babe. Fields of Mars songs are like that, each song a film with an exciting plot driven by distorted guitars and kick-ass rhythm; other times, it’s more mellow and atmospheric, with swirling guitars, space-age synthesis, and contemplative lyrics. Erich Peace, Brandon Lewis, Mary Anne Barckhoff and Ismail (Ish) Abdelkhalek start with musical sounds-capes that bounce around like bells reverberating off the walls of some weird cathedral. The music evolves to bring those images to life with an alternative/post rock feel reminiscent of Pink Floyd, mixed with alternative, gothic and indie rock music of the late 80’s and 90’s. Veterans of other popular local bands, they’ve been together since 2012 and are releasing their CD Ornate in April 2014. It will be available from the Fields of Mars website, digital distribution sites such as CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon as well as at shows.

Fields of Mars is all about feel and atmosphere, making them perfect for movie, TV and game soundtracks. Their music is featured in several episodes of Frequency, a sci-fi web series (

Erich Peace (guitar, vocals) previously played in Psycho Sonic Cindi, a band popular in the Chapel Hill indie rock scene in the nineties. Also a veteran of Honey Driver, Three Days in Vegas and a brief stint with Jim Smith and his Tall Buildings, he writes the lyrics and sometimes gets to save the planet. Brandon Lewis (guitar, synth), played with Erich in Honey Driver and also was a member of Permanent Darling. He often controls the band’s live show lighting while playing synthesizer and guitar like a boss. A lesser man would steer the ship into an asteroid, but he keeps them in the right galaxy. Mary Anne Barckhoff (bass, vocals) holds down the bass like she did in Viva la Venus and Little Miss Messy. Currently, she plays lead guitar with upcoming band, ElecTrick Ladyland. She’s no backseat commander and sometimes she gets the hot babe too. Ish Abdelkhalek (drums, vocals) – who previously played in the bands SimmerDown, Hollowboxx, Virgo9, and Gripweed Manifold – really is a film making rock star. He keeps them all on the beat and away from Jupiter.

So Help them save the planet, fellow space explorers. Experience the superhero soundscapes of Fields of Mars.


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The opening track, “Space Junk”, features a dark, growling bass and synth groove with robotic vocals, skimming in and out of scenes that end on a chugging rhythm.  The thoughtful feel of “Golden Autumn Heart” is built around grooving bass lines and compelling guitar solos reminiscent of David Gilmour. The title cut has delay-effected vocals with bursts of guitar. There’s a pop/rock vibe to “No Ordinary Thing,” with expressive chords anchored to a solid beat. Don’t be fooled by the gently strummed guitar that opens “100% Juice” – it soon breaks into an all-out chase to save the world with classic distorted guitar and slamming drums. “The Line Forms Here” is an instrumental indie-rock anthem featuring infectious guitar and bass hooks. For “In Between,” sweet, swirling guitar and synth soundscapes give themselves over to saturated snare hits like a time bomb with soaring guitar leads. In that one, Erich sings: “There is no season without rain,” but toward the end, you might “Shine just like shooting stars” and who knows? Maybe he gets the babe. Their signature layers of atmospheric sound are evident in “Bleeding Light.” The song’s minimal lyrics overlay ever-changing guitars, from bluesy bends to a hypnotic raga-like feel.