Debut album Postcards, from Bristol duo Meadowlark has been eagerly anticipated to say the least, and it couldn’t be better timed, bringing a fresh summer breeze of musical lushness as the days are warming and evenings getting longer. The band have spent a good few years building an audience and working hard crafting their songs into what has become a perfectly balanced album of folky dream pop joy; bless with melodies and heartfelt songwriting. The hard work has been rewarded, resulting in a wonderfully stunning record.
It is an easy album to sink into; it’s ethereal grace has a sweeping flow to it, strong undercurrents of rhythm propelling the delicate, gossamer melodies along like a musical swan gliding across a pond. The older songs that we have lived with and loved like ‘Fly’ and ‘Eyes Wide’ are comfortable bedfellows with the newer material, showing a measured development in their sound.
The fulcrum of this sound is of course Kate McGills hypnotic vocals – strong yet delicate, firm yet yearning, full of haunting emotion and longing, but equally purposeful and powerful. They eat up the lyrics; songs of love, loss and relationships, hope, happiness and the future, all captured with an honesty and frankness that renders them even more affecting.
Musically the blend of acoustic and electronic is seamless – stunning piano and sweeping synth in harmony, delicate acoustic guitar and chiming, reverb drenched electric guitar adding complementary layers and programmed percussion blending effortlessly throughout. Each track is impeccably weighted, precise in its construction and purpose, the perfect carriage for the vocals. But it is not just the technical brilliance of the music that shines through – the careful production, writing and performance gives it a real soul, an emotional punch that combines with the lyrics in a way that gives the songs a life that almost seems real.
Incredible work indeed – the evidence presented in Postcards suggests that Meadowlark are poised for something very, very special.