Meadow Meadow – You Are So Alive

An understated, calming debut album… 

Until recently, Meadow Meadow was a duo of Spring King graduates Peter Darlington and James Green. Two years after their old band called it quits the pair debuted as Meadow Meadow with 2020’s self-titled EP, before following up with their sophomore offering ‘Silhouettes’ the following year. They’ve since brought bassist Maya Bovill and drummer Holly Hardy into their ranks, and have now released their debut album ‘You Are So Alive’. 

The opening title track enjoys an almost cinematic introduction – wobbling synths, strings and all – before the rocking melody steps back to let Peter’s vocals stand front and centre. Taking account of grief, love, and all else that it means to be alive, the track is a soothing assertion of getting through it. 

Though there are (happily) no violent departures from those gentle vibes established at the start, Meadow Meadow are still able to play around with textures and sound. ‘Talulah’, for one, takes on electronic influences in its percussion, something that later underpins an extended, soaring outro. On ‘Lucille’, the tempo picks up for a foot-tapping, sun-soaked slice of indie pop. 

Elsewhere, ‘Open Sea’ gathers round the campfire, acoustic guitar in hand, for a warming, swaying bout of existentialism; “we’re all searching / for something that sticks”. Much of the same energy is present on ‘Exhaustion’: “exhaustion / is a feature of the system,” Peter sings. “Oppression / colours every transaction.” The bleak themes don’t feel suffocating, though. Like shapeshifts, Meadow Meadow can morph between the affecting and the ambient with ease. 

‘You Are So Alive’ is an album that ambles along at its own pace. If you’d rather let it float in the background it won’t demand your attention, but it is there for when you choose to listen. 

7/10

Words: Caitlin Chatterton

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