Meadowlarks, known for their song, are the birds that inspired the name of Bristol-based folk-electronica duo Meadowlark. With their defining melodic nature, being also the name of a song on the first Fleet Foxes record, the musical birds are affectionately emblematic of the duo. Formed on the back of the separate solo careers of Kate McGill and Dan Broadley, with an instant musical connection uniting the two, Meadowlark began to take flight, and since their formative movements around 2013, they’ve been ascending out into the air. They’ve released a series of EPs and singles, seen airtime on BBC Radio One, Radio 2 & XFM, and graced festivals like The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and Glastonbury’s ‘BBC Introducing’ stage. What follows now is a symbolic formation to mark their ascent, the release of their debut album, Postcards.
Postcards is comprised of a combination of older tracks and new, previously-unknown tracks. There are familiar songs such as ‘Eyes Wide’ and ‘Fly’ (the latter having already amassed over 12 million Spotify streams) in amongst new, unfamiliar songs like ‘Undercover’. Dark and dreamlike, their melodic indie-folk electronica radiates through the record with aerial essence. Their sound seems to evoke the setting of high altitudes, with light, airy melodies gliding around dark shimmering waves of electronica. Beneath these electronic layers lie solid percussive heartbeats, sustaining a bassy rhythmic pulse. Keys often lead the instrumentation, striking and centring the direction in songs amidst the electro-atmosphere. The album seems nocturnal in nature, shadowy and atmospheric with wistful, hypnotic noises reverberating around the expansive sound-space. A soft and subtle energy oozes in restful tracks like ‘Pink Hearts’ and ‘Satellites’ – elusive shimmers, breezes and sparkles dance around the air. Though markedly soft and gentle in demeanour, tracks are also capable of swooping in with confident swipes of vivacity – more upbeat songs like ‘Eyes Wide’ and ‘Body Lose’ exhibit heavier, livelier beats that lead the songs into dance territory. Meadowlark are careful, however, not to oversaturate or overcomplicate their tracks – understanding, as they state themselves, that ‘less can be more’. ‘That’s Life’ is a wonderful ballad featuring just a piano and a voice, wistful and emotional in its reflection upon the blissful nature of youth.
In lyrical terms, ‘Postcards’ is thematically diverse. It sings of relationships (from the inside and outside), our transition from childhood to adulthood and the effect of the future, and inner turmoil, delivered by Kate McGill’s light, airy voice that glides melodically and seamlessly through the air, elegant and pure. At times, the musical haze clears, opening up into a solitary space for McGill’s voice to shine alone.
The record flows graciously all the way through, alluring and enchanting, soft yet vibrant. Whatever your musical sympathies, Postcards is an accessible and enjoyable fusion of indie-folk and electro-pop; the record is a strong debut from Meadowlark. Take it with you, if you would, and fly with them.
Tickets for Meadowlark’s upcoming shows can be found here.By Sam Huntley