We caught up with Kate McGill and Daniel Broadley, members of Meadowlark to discuss their new single Quicksand, festivals and touring.
By Jane Howkins.
You recently released a new single called Quicksand. What can you tell us about that?
Last August, Dan and I retreated to a cottage in Doncaster to continue writing our album. On the third night, amidst melodic and lyrical ideas that weren’t getting us anywhere, I happened to stumble across a post on Facebook that would change everything. It was by Humans Of New York. For those that don’t know, the owner of this Page takes photos of people as they go about their day on the streets of New York – and with it comes a quote; a short snapshot into this person’s life. This particular August, HONY were travelling around Pakistan and gathering stories from those affected by the brick kilns. The post that hit me the hardest was of a young man who had gotten into this labour because of his sister’s 30,000 rupee medical bill. He took a loan from the brick kiln and agreed to work until it was paid off. His family members did the same. They believed it would take 3 months to pay it off, but when they went to leave, the debt had grown to 90,000 rupees. He said it was like Quicksand. The owners take all the money, as accommodation and food has to be paid for too, and the debt gets higher and higher. The workers don’t know their rights, and the brick kiln owners then sell the workers off to each other. His whole family were sold off for 2.2 million rupees.
We were so heartbroken reading those stories. We get so swept up in our lives and forget how lucky we are on a daily basis. We wanted to acknowledge these incredibly brave people and all those who devote their lives to helping them.
Why did this affect you so much?
A lot of problems that happen all around the world affect us but I think this particular story shook us because we’d never heard anything of it before. It goes to show how much the media don’t cover, it has since encouraged to look beyond the sources of news in front of us.
Over $2 million was raised for charity to help the family (as well as for other people in similar situations). Are there any other causes you support?
One25 is a charity based in Bristol (where we both live) who work very closely with women who live on the streets of Bristol and helping them in all sorts of different ways. We have done various things to help and support them as a charity over the years.
You also released an E.P. entitled Paraffin in April of this year, which received a lot of positive critical praise. Do you have any plans for a full album release at any point in the near future?
An album is definitely on the cards, at the moment we are putting singles out that showcase where we are as a band now. Our sound has been evolving so much over the years, it’s nice to be able to give people varying examples of what to expect on the album.
You played at quite a few festivals over the summer – how do you find festival sets compare to normal gigs?
Festivals are a great way to play to a crowd who might never have heard of you before. It’s interesting writing a set list that’s soul purpose is to turn the heads of people walking past the tent you’re playing. They are a lot of fun!
You played at the Dot To Dot festival, which is a three day event hosted in Nottingham, Manchester and Bristol. The festival is known for having bands play before they hit the big time – is that something that excites you as a group?
Absolutely! We had such a warm welcome at dot2dot this year, you definitely get a sense that everyone on the bill is destined for great things, everyone steps up their game when they play that festival!
Are there any festivals you have lined up for next year to play?
It’s early days yet, there are lots of festivals we would like to play next year, we have all our fingers crossed that we get invited to them.
You’re also embarking on a headline tour around England at the end of this month. Is there anywhere you’re particularly looking forward to playing?
Bristol is always fun as it’s our home town, but if I’m honest all the dates are going to have something unique and amazing about them. We’ve been fortunate enough to tour the UK a few times now and we’ve learnt that every city has something different to offer.
Your music could be described as being within the electro-pop genre. Are you influenced by a lot of electronic music? What artists would you say you are most influenced by?
Our influences vary a lot, we listen to loads of new electronic and pop artists, as well as genres that completely contrast what we do. I think it’s important to have an open mind when listening to music. On our playlists at the moment are: Ariana Grande, Phoria, Polyenso, the National, Sufjan Stevens, Black Foxxes, and Paul Simon!
Any last words for the fans?
Thanks for supporting us, we genuinely couldn’t do any of this without you guys!