Review: Meadowlark – Three Six Five EP

Written for NOISE CANNON


During two consecutive songs, leading lady Kate McGill laments about when she was 17 years old. What has she been up to? What on earth happened during those Three Six Five days? McGill is quick to tell listeners just how unhappy she is, after a sharp intake of breath and piano chord, diving within a second to a lament about her problems. As it turns out, after a presumed admission that she was prematurely pregnant, reminiscing over why her mother ‘waited’ suggests that a misguided, booze fueled night out was to blame. But this isn’t just a winge about her stupidity, easily resulting in little sympathy. During ‘Family Tree’, the choruses are similar only in lyrics and tune, as by the time that she wishes that “if I ever have a lover like my father had my mother I would say, let me go” she is accompanied by much more than the opening piano. First the distant hum of an infinitely echoing guitar, then the rattle of a brushed snare, and finally a full band at full force and strings enveloping her, by which time, she needs to scream her heart out for her plea for moral help to be heard. That, she certainly does.

It is then that we realise that whether the song is a tragic true story, or that it simply stemmed from noticing that ‘mother’ and ‘brother’ rhymed, that her heart-wrenching troubles seem very real.

However, by the time that the opener is over, her life becomes much more optimistic and playful. ‘I’ve Got You’, full of vocal harmonies , is a skipping-through-daisy-fields celebration that she isn’t so alone anymore, especially in closing with thumping, clapping and a mass of voices reminiscent of a school choir. Final track ‘Sail Away’ is ‘Family Tree’s polar opposite, opening cheerily despite McGill chirpily singing about how she will “sail away out of your arms”. As grin-inducing as these tracks are, as well as outstandingly dense, full to the brim of mandolins and Hammond organs, it is the beautiful atmosphere stemming from the isolated vocals, invading around her fragility such as that in the fittingly titled ‘Forlorn’, that favour their style the most.

Three Six Five EP is, as cruel as it sounds, at its very best when at a heartstring tugging degree of misery. Hopefully though, as more songs arrive, it won’t take masterful upset for this Meadowlark to be in full flight.


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