6 Jul 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Raylee Bradfield - Album Review: Where Wildflowers Grow

01 Feb 2020 // A review by Isla Norman
South Island singer-songwriter Raylee Bradfield has always felt connected to nature. For five generations, her family has lived in the rugged edge of Aotearoa, surrounded by rolling hills and immersed in the vibrant changing of the seasons. Bradfield draws inspiration for her music from the way that nature can go from “flourishing to desolation to renewal”.


There is a fresh and authentic sound in Bradfield’s debut album Where Wildflowers Grow, and you can feel the atmosphere of spring in her music. The album kicks off with the steady Down I Go, which features a groovy syncopated rhythm in the chorus. It then moves into the slower, more pensive Give Me the Answer that ponders the feeling of being lost in life. Superbly arranged, the slide guitar and clean vocals allow the song to feel authentic and unspoiled.

Bradfield manages the pace of her album well by varying tempo and instrumentation enough to let each song shine on its own. From the swaying guitar based Lonely No More to the shuffling piano ballad that is Wounded Heart she pulls your heartstrings in all directions, musing loneliness and heartbreak. It’s refreshing to hear such a full, immersive sound without overproduction.

Themes of nature are woven through the album. Bradfield describes the need for a new beginning through the metaphor of washing her fears away in the river. A “new sky” and the image of running “towards the sun” represent hope for happier days to come.

Sold on You breaks the pensive nature of the songs that came before it with a more sensual shift in tone. At essence it’s a love song, but it’s worth mentioning the way that Bradfield captures the dazed, and comforting feeling of a good relationship. New Sky, the final track on the album is hopeful, with some dark undertones. Bradfield experiments with unexpected use of major and minor chords to play with mixed emotions. It’s a thoughtful note to end on.

Where Wildflowers Grow is an album to plug in for. Brew a cup of tea, find your favourite chair, and listen from start to finish. It’s the only way to do this immersive collection of songs justice.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Raylee Bradfield

Hailing from farming country in South Otago, Raylee Bradfield is a rare gem in the NZ music scene. Her haunting melodies combine with poetic lyrics drawn from seasons of adversity, continuing faith and the ability to put herself in the shoes of the other. Early memories of her Mother & Aunty’s harmonies filling the home sparked a love of music that has continued to be inspired by the likes of Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin, Ryan Adams and Mavis Staples.

For two decades this soulful songbird has been quietly writing and releasing music, studying towards an Honours in Music, performing at events & festivals nationwide and teaching the next generation as a Vocal Tutor in Auckland performing arts schools. While Bradfield has 2 EPs under her belt, 2019 saw the release of her debut album Where Wildflowers Grow, a culmination of songs examining the complex facets of the human condition through hardship, rescue and new beginnings.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Raylee Bradfield

Releases

Where Wildflowers Grow
Year: 2019
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Isla Norman

Madeleine Howard - Single Review: Missing Pieces
30 Jun 2020 // by Isla Norman
From a young age Madeleine Howard was inspired by female New Zealand artists. Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa and Lorde resonated with her.
Read More...
Roonie - Single Review: My Heart
22 Jun 2020 // by Isla Norman
Taupo born Michaela Pointon started songwriting when she was 12, and released her debut EP Human Nature in her final year of high school. In 2019 the young artist adopted the moniker Roonie, and chased her musical dreams to Auckland.
Read More...
Marina Bloom and Moving Stuff - Single Review: Let's Pretend
29 May 2020 // by Isla Norman
Russian singer-songwriter Marina Bloom has embraced lockdown as a time of creativity and expression through releasing a series of singles entitled Songs of Isolation. Ordinarily influenced by the likes of Celine Dion and Fleetwood Mac, her latest single Let’s Pretend is a grungier offering than her listeners may have expected.
Read More...
Sofia Machray - Single Review: Handstands
25 May 2020 // by Isla Norman
“Indie-pop fantasizer” Sofia Machray is stirring up the music scene with her debut single Handstands. Having made a name for herself performing at festivals and opening for indie-rock band Racing, it’s exciting to see her step into the studio.
Read More...
Imperial April - Single Review: Peachy
13 May 2020 // by Isla Norman
While Imperial April’s debut single was released this May, they are no strangers to the music scene. Victoria and Andy Knopp have worked on various projects over the years, including electro-pop band The Response and a handmade CD for Mother’s Day.
Read More...
Echo Children - Single Review: Flowerbeds
04 May 2020 // by Isla Norman
Echo Children are "a band of foreigners formed in the melting pot of Auckland". With members hailing from Scotland, Sweden, the UK and Canada the group pull influences from Springsteen, Ryan Adams and Fleetwood Mac.
Read More...
Album Review: Reb Fountain
30 Apr 2020 // by Isla Norman
Reb Fountain’s latest release is more than an album: it’s a sonic experience. The songs are innovative and varied - there’s reason to give attention to every track.
Read More...
Farandicus - Double Single Review: Shame On You / Throwaway Youth
10 Apr 2020 // by Isla Norman
Farandicus’ style is an amalgamation of the varied musical backgrounds of its members. Their latest dual release of Shame on You and Throwaway Youth will make you move.
Read More...
View All Articles By Isla Norman

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • ROCKSTAR
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • ROSES (IMANBEK REMIX)
    SAINt JHN
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • BLINDING LIGHTS
    The Weeknd
  • STUCK WITH U
    Ariana Grande And Justin Bieber
  • WHAT'S POPPIN'
    Jack Harlow
  • ROVER
    S1mba feat. DTG
  • BREAKING ME
    Topic feat. A7S
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem