Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Meadow Meadow's debut You Are So Alive strikes an idiosyncratic and accessible balance

"You Are So Alive"

Release date: 24 November 2023
Meadow Meadow You Are So Alive cover
30 November 2023, 09:00 Written by Nicolas Graves

Swirls of guitars, hazy clouds of synth, jittering electronic beds of percussion and soft-to-the-touch melodies that always feel like they’re only one turn away from breaking are all present on the debut album from Meadow Meadow,

Striking a neat balance between idiosyncratic and accessible, it is a folk-leaning, but undeniably lo-fi indie sound that lands miles away from the noisy and assured garage pop of their former project Spring King.

Peter Darlington and James Green have gradually emerged from the shadows as joint front-people, with two EPs and a clutch of singles released over the last few years. There is a breezy sound to Meadow Meadow that belies a sensitivity that occasionally makes you want to put the kettle on and give them a hug. This is cathartic music, with moments where they touch on things like grief (on the excellent title track), anxiety: “I’m often paralysed / By my place in the world / Overanalyse my time” on "Open Sea" or something akin to depression: “A creature without a name” on "Exhaustion".

But it is also a record full of hope; there are wide-eyed moments of wonderment and splendour and a giddy, child-like energy permeating throughout. It’s evident in the playfulness of "In the Sun" as they sing about raising their hands into the sky and laughing with abandon into “this big world”. It is also there as they implore "Talulah" (who could as much be a dog as a human) to “Heal slowly… You heart will grow again”. Nestled somewhere near the middle of the album, "Talulah" features an angelic lead vocal moment from bassist Maya Bovill, before a rush of arpeggios and drum fills build into the most euphoric moment of the album.

Some of the most adventurous songwriting is present on "In The Tall Room" – with baritone lead vocals from Green, searching piano lines, and a middle eight which actually features the giddy laughing of a child. "Lucille" follows with a renewed sense of urgency and a chorus that – if you close your eyes and crank it up – you could imagine as a live highlight.

From there the album slows down for its last three tracks, edging gradually into a pillowy dreamworld that is affirmed by the sweet and languorous album closer "A Narrow Road", stuffed full with the imagery of an intoxicated late night stroll under an open sky.

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