CHSR Mini Review: Redwood Fields – Accidentals
Listen as you read. 😉 http://redwoodfields.bandcamp.com/
The first time I heard the Redwood Fields was with my wife Nathalie when we were listening to music online for our CHSR music show East Coast Stream. Nathalie immediately picked them as her favourite East Coast band. It made sense, at least to me, why this band would be her favourite. She loves British music. While the Redwood Fields’ are not British, there are elements of British anthem rock, new wave, and shoegaze throughout the poppy immediacy of their songs. Cedric Noel opens the album with the line “Welcome to this back ass town, with all this shit all around…we are all looking for a way out.” For me this line exemplifies the creative renaissance occurring in the Fredericton music scene. There is an empowerment and confidence in the songwriting of the local bands; the assurance that ‘we’ are not alone and ‘we’ can use rural-trapment for creative impetus in rising above and beyond regional expectations. The Redwood Fields, with their excellent debut album Accidentals, have proven to be an essential contributor in Fredericton’s prominent music scene.
Cedric Noel’s guitar sound provides the melody and Heather Ogilvie’s basslines supply the catchy hooks while Bruce Duval energetically pounds relentlessly on the drums and Brendan MaGee’s synth/keys generates a warm electronic blanket of sound. Each instrument compliments the other, causing the listener to bounce from one player to the next, generating climatic walls built on thick layers of texture that truly stimulate the imagination within the accessible pop song framework. Cedric’s voice is distinct and powerful and his range has significantly increased since the bands first two song EP release. Heather Ogilvie’s voice has been noticeably raised in the mix and she really shines – the highlight, for me, is when Cedric and Heather harmonize – it’s simply beautiful.
Cedric Noel wrote six out of the eight tracks while Brendan MaGee wrote two; Sappy and Neurasthenia. Cedric and Brendan both compose strong pop melodies and they can write complimentary lyrics that reflect on fate, hope and love loss, that fit these epic musical arrangements. Redwood Fields have made a record that is inspiring, addictive, and at times whimsical. Accidentals showcases the Redwood Fields as possibly one of the Nations best indie pop acts and with this album they should soar. Play it loud, play it often.