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Chatham Rise - “Meadowsweet” (2018) review


Chatham Rise - Meadowsweet (Picture in My Ear, 2018)

Once again we find Chatham Rise breathlessly breezing into our subconscious with an ever present sense of longing and wayward wandering. This time out the band seem a bit more concerned with their vocal presentation, with the opening track “Riddle” (as with the rest) showing off this new concept, where the vocals and the instrumentation swirl and mix, ever dependent on each other in nearly hymnal fashion.

With that in mind, the other material found here makes use of the years spent between albums honing their craft at live venues, where their penchant for expressing the stuff of dreams finds a more sure and resounding presence of mind and expression. For the first time Chatham Rise appears to be making a concerted effort to come off as a band laced with communal ideas and imagery as one song unfolds and laces together with the next. That being said, there is a sense of strength found within these grooves that lends itself to more considered listening, rather than merely lightness of being background meditations to drift off to.

Meadowsweet is a luscious presentation of lucid dreaming, delivered with psychedelic splendor, defining a journey that while earthbound on this outing, will have listeners returning again and again for these nocturnal slumbers where sound is made up of colours, and the colours go on about defining and redefining an organic pastoral reflection that washes and ebbs effortlessly, filled with bewildering slow motion luscious intoxication.

*** The Fun Facts: The album’s artwork comes from the hand of Christian Dorey, an artist heavily inspired by pop art and the expressions movements.

The album’s title Meadowsweet references a tall plant of the rose family, defined by clusters of sweet smelling flowers.

- Jenell Kesler
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