Meadowlark are Kate McGill and Daniel Broadley. McGill built up her popularity as a solo artist on YouTube, gaining a loyal fanbase and even releasing an EP under her own name before coming to the realisation that she'd prefer to pursue a career with a band. Recruiting Broadley and Carl Jones, and deciding on the name, they released first single 'Family Tree' quickly afterward.
Prior to the band, Kate had clocked up tens of millions of views on YouTube for her catalogue of covers. She released an album, had tracks played on Radio 2, and spent a summer in Los Angeles writing with various renowned hitmakers. Dan, meanwhile, was playing in various rock bands and earning a reputation as a great director having made videos with the likes of Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis and Mallory Knox. But Kate was feeling drastically unfulfilled, worried she was only going to be known for covering other people's songs when she had so many of her own waiting for an audience. Dan, meanwhile, musical tastes changing and growing all the time, was lumbered with bandmates that would neither shift their focus or gig further than 10 miles from home. Something had to give. With both Dan and Kate hailing from Plymouth, a town with a relatively small music scene, it's little surprise they already knew of each other.
Off stage, their track ‘Eyes Wide’ was added to BBC Radio 1's Introducing playlist, XFM's evening playlist and featured on Hype Machine's Top 20. They've also performed a session on Dermot O'Leary's BBC Radio 2 show, played Glastonbury's Introducing stage, at the Great Escape, MAMA festival in Paris, Dot to Dot, and appeared on episodes of Vampire Diaries and Made in Chelsea. Proof that, whether Meadowlark were ready for that first live show or not, it was the right thing to do.
Musically, their sound has simplified since those first writing sessions. They're still exploring the space where folk and electronica meet, and while getting ever closer to the sound in their heads, one of the most important lessons Kate and Dan have learned is that less can be more. Another, perhaps above all else, is that ego should be left at the door – the song is always the most important thing. "We've got a really good thing going, and it's completely shared understanding of what we want to do," says Dan. "If a song just needs Kate's voice and a piano, I will happily step aside and let that be, just as Kate will make room for me if it that's what is needed. We think solely about the song and nothing else, we're not precious."
That philosophy came to the fore when the duo disappeared on various writing retreats around the UK. "We just look for cottages with pianos," says Kate. Free from distractions and loaded up with ideas gathered from observing the world around them, they used such spaces to craft the songs that will appear on their forthcoming album, expected to be released in the early part of 2017. While deeply personal, there's more to their writing than basic love songs. Matters of the heart are there in the background, but Dan and Kate are engaged, culturally aware, well-travelled people, always looking further afield for themes and concepts.