WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM BAY BRYAN – THE MEADOW
Manchester based actor and musician Bay Bryan’s folk debut album “The Meadow” is a mesmerising, musical labyrinth filled with hope and anticipation for new beginnings.
Hailing from Colorado at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and now based in Manchester, inspiration from both places can be heard in Bay Bryans music which combines acute descriptions of the natural world and a raw folk sound with the eclectic influence of the Manchester indie music scene. The product of this fusion is a timeless and mystical musical creation.
Beginning with an acoustic intro that sounds like waking from a dream Bay Bryan starts their debut with questioning the possibilities in store for them. Appropriately being released at the beginning of spring time, “The Meadow” is a celebration of new beginnings and of rebirth.
Following on, the track “Golden” introduces Bryan’s narrative structure of the album as a story unfolding, fuelled by its visceral lyricism. With enchantingly archaic flute and string instrumentation there’s an otherworldly feeling to their blissful daydream of a record.
As well as its ethereal beauty, Bay Bryan’s “The Meadow” has an almost childlike playfulness to it, as if seeing nature and the world through a refreshingly excitable lens. Luscious production and exhilarating acoustic passages create an exuberant ambience particularly on tracks such as “Sticky Shadows” a track that encourages the listener to run free and let go of the past. One of the highlights of the album is the song “Let Go”, peaceful and refreshing the melody flows like a stream sparkling in dappled sunlight.
The attention to detail on Bay Bryan’s “The Meadow” is one of the most striking and impressive aspects of this debut album. Intricate string arrangements weave together creating an elaborate musical tapestry.
On the track “Sweet Joan”, a commemoration to the sorceress, the plucking strings dip and dive rhythmically in tune with the songs narrative. The result is something completely immersive and almost film-like in nature. The interlude instrumental “The Threshold” is exactly akin to a piece of music from a movie soundtrack, both slightly ominous and eager for what is next in store on the journey.
The penultimate track on “The Meadow” is an almost orchestral finish summarising the entirety of the albums content. “Beyond The Meadow” is the longest and most detailed song on the record, evolving and blossoming as it unfolds into a climactic finish. From start to finish, “The Meadow” enthrals the listener in its sonic soundscape gently encouraging them to seek a fresh start.