REVIEW: The Raspberry Heaven – Nascent Meadows

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Artist: The Raspberry Heaven
Album: Nascent Meadows
Release date: September 11th, 2013

Every once in a while you find an album that you have an immediate connection with before you’ve had time to analyze it, learn all the words or understand everything that is going on; there is just an undeniable sonic connection. That is Nascent Meadows for me. I am listening to it for the third time in full right now and every time I listen to the songs, I get something new out of it. Maybe I’m just a sucker for sad pop music, but this album is undeniably great.

The album’s opening track, “Only Child,” is one of my favourite moments on the album. It begins with some very simple guitar strumming, but builds throughout the song with different layers of vocals, drums and an absolutely beautiful lead guitar harmony. The hook on this song, “Grow old at home,” is so good and does a wonderful job setting the mood of the song and album. This may be one of my favourite album openers of all time.

“Awenda” and “January Genuine” come next and continue with the cold, airy tone “Only Child” sets. One thing I love about “Awenda” in particular is the very percussive guitar during the ending. “January Genuine” is another of my favourites and I’d assume one that a lot of people will really latch onto out of the bunch. There are some really beautiful sounds on this song, especially the rung out chords during the second half- I can’t tell if it’s keyboard or a heavily effected guitar, but it does an incredible job of text painting while the lyrics are full of beach imagery.

Next is “Substance.” The lyrics in this song are great. My favourite bit is “You said within your heart is substance. Don’t let it run, don’t you let it stray away.” The vocals on this are outstanding as well- it has a lot of softly sung, screamed/shouted and gang vocals and the combination compliments the song very well.

The song, “Margaret,” is a short swelling ballad. The only lyrics are, “Can you inherit this unmerited grace? We are related and this shapes our fate,” and they keep being repeated as the music builds up and comes back down. It is a wonderful example of conveying your message powerfully with only a few words.

My personal favourite on the album is the next song, “Meadow & Her Missing Wolf.” I love the way Michael sings this one and it has some really great basslines and lyrics I really enjoy, such as, “You were a lock made without a fucking key, so I’m roots without the tree. I couldn’t breathe, but I could leave and I didn’t like the taste of your honey.”

Nascent Meadows closes with “Peregrine,” “North of Barrie” and “Remains.” “North of Barrie” is a song that originally appeared on the Insomnious EP, but this version includes a beautifully spoken poem at the end.

“Remains” ends the album on a big, slow, airy note. It’s wonderful. It incorporates many lyrics and themes from the previous songs on the album and gives it a great sense of closure.

Nascent Meadows is an album you need to know if you like melancholy, sad pop music. Please give this album a listen; you will not regret it. (By Nathan Cornell)

For fans of: Fences, Have Mercy, Bon Iver, Bright Eyes, Mansions

Stream/purchase here: http://theraspberryheaven.bandcamp.com/album/insomnious-ep

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