We’ve loved Meadowlark’s advance tracks (a couple of EPs, maybe a download) beyond logic. You know when you just love a band for no real reason and play a track over and over? That. They are good, mind, but we are most definitely fans. So, they’re not getting a moderate review, let alone bad.
We must have played Eyes Wide and Fly hundreds of times, a perfect combination of slightly dreamy vocals and a strong beat/synth. Maybe not quite as technically perfect as early The XX but catchier tunes. Later tracks such as Paraffin are equally good. So we already loved at least half this album before we even pressed play.
The new tracks: we can’t mount an argument there might be a trace of filler in there, as some critics have said, because we’ve played some songs hundreds of times and the new ones, by definition, aren’t as familiar.
Trying to view it objectively, they do have a sound and they’re sticking to it (but there is only two of them, so kind of limiting). Winsome vocals, synth or piano accompaniment, drum machine when necessary but used effectively to give the songs impetus. You could argue, (before we drowned you in a bath of acid), that it’s maybe too slickly produced and a little, if not predictable then obvious: if we described the band you could get close to the sound and they don’t vary it much.
What gives Meadowlark the edge is that the two performers —Dan Broadley and Kate McGill — go together well. The music might not be 100% original, but the sound is unique, and charming. And really, really good.
Good luck to them; we suspect in a year or so they’ll be massive and our protestations of “…and of course, we liked them before they were famous” will make us sound like pretentious musos from Shoreditch. Go and buy it, so you too can sound pretentious. Even if we’re wrong, you’ll enjoy the album.