Quick pop-rock hooks that are enough to knock you down, welcoming melodies that seem oddly familiar, and then these unexpectedly tender moments that quiver with emotion, are the platform in which the debut record from Redwood Fields stands on. In eight tracks, Accidentals conveys the feelings of those late night adventures you take in your youth where you can think the clearest about love, loss, and questions like, “is this what you wanted?”
The Fredericton based band welcomes you to their “back-ass town” with the opening song, “Foundations.” A gritty, fast-paced, power-chord filled track gives the tour of what home is for Redwood Fields and the setting for these potential nighttime thoughts. The timbre of lead singer Cedric Noel’s voice initially catches you off-guard as he gives you the tour, “the church and its steeple to your right,” but by the latter part of the first verse the introduction of Heather Ogilvie’s vocals quickly makes Redwood Fields something to hear.
Although the honey-sweet backing vocals of Ogilvie are so obviously different from that of Noel’s, together they make a pairing that’s hard to ignore and thankfully continues throughout Accidentals. In the deliciously moveable poppy title song, Noel and Ogilvie exchange the lines from each verse before coming together in the chorus, making the song’s call “to find you” amongst the chaos, that much sweeter.
The sprawling two-verse “Sappy” exhibits a slower side of the band. Where more of a lulling beat takes charge on this song, a dream-pop sounding keyboard inclusion slows things down on “Neurasthenia.” While slower and, almost shoegazey in the case of “Neurasthenia,” often mean more emotional, Redwood Fields maintains a sentimental tone in whatever side of their sound they choose to tackle. Following “Neurasthenia” for example, the powerful grunge feeling of “Distance & Obtuse” reaches an emotional climax as Noel screams, “And you just won’t let it go,” for breathtaking results.
The nighttime travelling thoughts and, “what transpired during those nights of sin,” come to an end with the touching closer, “Ailments.” The vulnerable questioning of what could just be fleeting love, found throughout the record, continues as Noel poses, “did I just waste all my time on you?” But in a very fitting manner, an answer is given. The thoughts that kept you up all night and physically pushed you out of the door in search of relief have ended, for now:
“I’m going to take all my time on you…”
Top Tracks: “Accidentals,” “Distance & Obtuse”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)