Never judge a book by its cover, and never judge a band by its name. One look at the title for the creative guise of Kate McGill and Daniel Broadley and it'd be easy to assume you've got it all figured out. That's not entirely the case.
“A Meadowlark is a particular bird known for its song,” reveals one half of the duo, Broadley, offering up the classic dictionary definition of their name. There's more than first meets the eye when it comes to them, though. “It's also the name of a Fleet Foxes track, a band that hugely inspired us when writing our first bunch of songs.”
Having met before the winding down of McGill's former solo project – when Broadley was still a video director - the pair soon became friends and, when the time was right, decided to see how their musical chemistry played out. Much like their title, they provided two differing approaches, two personalities - “both Kate and myself come from very different musical backgrounds yet our influences cross over” - but all the while, worked to create one whole. “What we ended up with was raw creativity,” Broadley assures, “no pressure, no deadlines, just a mix of inspirations and endless jams.”
Since then, their natural affinity and flair has been channeled into two EPs: their debut, as produced by Peter Miles, 'Three Five Six', introduced the band with a raw warmth, McGill's gorgeous vocals taking precedent over piano and strings in its opening track 'Family Tree'. Their follow-up, the forthcoming 'Dual' EP, saw the band take another step into unknown territory, with the pair growing more and more comfortable with experimenting and pushing the boundaries.
“We often refer to 'Dual' as 'Meadowlark 2.0',” Broadley offers, “because it feels like the next evolution in our musical career. We never want to shy away from the folk sound that we originally grounded ourselves with, however, allowing it to evolve into the melancholic pop sound that we have now was truly inspiring for us as musicians and songwriters.”
Whether it's the soaring chorus of 'Fly' or the intricate delicacy of 'Fire', their latest offering sounds that much more accomplished and succinct, which was undoubtedly a result of having such a good relationship with producer Ant West.
“We always concentrate so hard on creating melodies and chord patterns that we both love and want to hear and play,” he continues. “This then allows us to take the songs to a producer and allow them to have as much fun producing them as we did writing them, because there's freedom for them to explore their own ideas and have their own stamp on the songs. It's so important to have a producer you trust, because it makes this entire process painless, you all just sit in a room and collaborate a sound that neither of you expected to hear at the end.
“We made a big conscious decision to return to a more electronic sound after straying away during our previous EP. Ant has such a great ethos when using electronic elements in songs, he understands the importance of things not only sounding real, but feeling real too. Leaving in the imperfections that only real instruments can make and combining them with tasteful synthetic instruments make the foundation on which 'Dual' was built upon.”
With support already pouring in from the likes of Huw Stephens, XFM and Burberry – who handpicked the duo to perform a haunting session that's since had over 25,000 views on YouTube – and their EP due to land this March, the future is already sounding bright for this pair of songbirds.