Meadowhawks – Wild Suburbia

Meadowhawks Wild Suburbia

Sometimes when you haven’t gone to the grocery store in over a month, you end up taking a bunch of random ingredients from your fridge and pantry and just throwing it into a pot. Often, these meals turn out to be surprisingly delicious and eventually become staples in your recipe book. That’s kind of how I feel about Meadowhawks. Their sound is a mixture of indie, garage-rock, pop and even a little jazz. A combination that you wouldn’t expect to work, but somehow does.

The New York formed band’s newest EP, Suburbia, sounds like maybe it pulled influence from some of my favourite bands – Sloan, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Wallflowers and The Shins. Very hook-driven, the songs on their EP are catchy and entertaining, but none are super similar.

Black Horse kicks off with big sound, and is exactly why I envisioned Sloan and RHCP when I first hit play. Quick, accurate percussion and soft guitar until the chorus where everything gets kicked it up a notch. It’s a little punk-ish with the type of vocals that you’ll probably never fully be able to decipher, so you just mumble through the song emphasizing the few words you catch.

Remember when I said Meadowhawks pulled influence from The Shins? Drunk on Wall Street is a big reason why I made the comparison. The intro reminds me a lot of The Shins’ hit, Simple Song. It starts off slow and subtle but introduces an upbeat garage-rock type chorus.

Are we sure these guys are from New York and not some part of the UK? Social Network Apocalypse opens with some seriously Brit-pop vibes. The layered vocals and finger picked guitar slowly melt into some soft percussion and a quiet bassline that create exactly what you want in a mellow indie-pop song. Usually I would find this type of tune whiney, but I seriously dig this track and melancholy vibe.

While you can pick out pieces of different genres in all of their tunes, Meadowhawks doesn’t fall into one clear category. Ryan MacLean (vocals/guitar) recorded the EP in its entirety solo, but now has a band to accompany him live. MacLean combines his interesting lyrics with the intense percussion of Lucas Henry, the old school solos of guitarist Eli Frank and bassist Dan Vernam to create what can only be described as Meadowhawks sound.

*Note: This article originally implied that the EP was recorded by all members of the band who play together live, but has been changed to reflect that Ryan MacLean recorded all parts to the EP.

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