Meadowhawks is a band from New York's Hudson Valley comprised of Ryan Maclean (singer/guitarist), Dan Vernam (bassist in studio), Nate Smallwood (guitarist), Lucas Henry (drummer) and Quinn Murphy (bassist/guitarist/singer) that recently released an impressive self-titled four song EP Meadowhawks.
The four songs on this EP establish a couple of different things about the band. Right off the bat it’s obvious the band wants to lure you in with certified grade A indie pop. The boys can certainly write a hook and Maclean sounds like a second cousin to James Mercer from The Shins (that’s meant to be a good thing). In fact some of the music in general sounds similar to The Shins (also a very good thing). That being said, you won’t confuse them with The Shins. Through these four songs the band successfully defines their own sound that will resonate with anyone who has an appreciation for well-written indie pop.
The other thing that might not be immediately evident is their technically ability. It’s obvious that the band puts the songs first and cares more about the emotional weight of a song then impressing you with a guitar solo. While subtle there are certain moments that no amateur could pull off. Listen to the drumming on “Apologetic Infinitum” or the guitar work during the opening of “Stowaway”.
Last but not least is the production. In my opinion this is how indie/pop/rock should sound. It’s not lo-fi but also doesn’t sound overproduced like a Nickleback record. They sound like a band playing in an amazing sounding room where the levels are perfect.
It’s hard to pick a highlight amongst the four because they all deliver. The opener “Multiflora Rose” busts out of the gate with a rock guitar riff that has a distinctly ‘90s vibe. When the verse hits the guitars go clean as MacLean spits out lyrics that are poetic and ambiguous. The song goes through an ample amount of changes and is extremely dynamic. “Apologetic Infinitum” contains an excellent combination of sounds that serve as a warm almost tranquil canvas for the vocalist to sing over. The vocal melodies are very catchy.
The last track “Almost There” starts with a walking bass line and an overall mellow vibe that contains a decent amount of melancholy as well as upbeat energy. It was a solid closer which left me wanting more.
Overall, there isn't much I could say I didn’t like about this debut. They meet all the criteria I look for when I think of a good indie/pop/rock act and I predict good things to come.
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