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Morningbird - Echoes In The Meadow (self-released)

10 May 2024

Listening to Echoes in the Meadow, Morningbird’s new long-player, is like wandering through the story of roots music. At every turn, they engage in all its broad forms, are influenced by its sounds and styles, tackle all manner of sub-genre and geography, play with its history and heritage, and, as a result, also help secure its future.

Now, the term roots as a generic label, like all generic labels, is too vague to be of much use, but it does at least put us in the right ballpark of sonic expectations. So, across eleven songs, Morningbird weaves a gorgeous tapestry of sound, from the spacious, lilting folk of “Birds and Bees” to the slightly gothic country vibes of “Reefer” and from the Celtic-infused energy of “Swallowtail Jig” to the more classic country style of “The Wind.”

But there is plenty of room for more bluesy-grooved moments, “Time for a Change” sublimely blending wit and wisdom, humour and poignancy, and the gorgeous border-ballad that is “Nights of July,” which mixes Old World Mediterranean passion with New World, Tex-Mex mystique.

Echoes in the Meadow, and Morningbird themselves, remind us that music doesn’t have to be writ large from loud guitars and big arrangements, sonic gimmicks and studio tricks; it reminds us that in the hands of the deft and the dexterous at least, music is at its most potent when built of simple lines and passionate deliveries. And Morningbird are the six most deft and dexterous hands to be found in their patch of the musical landscape.