Friday, February 14, 2014

Meg Myers Sings In Shadows No More

Meg Myers
While there are plenty of pop idols that try to act bad and get attention, Meg Myers dispels the need for antics by writing provocative and gloomy tracks that get under the skin. The emotion-laden tracks get your attention with rattling rockers and then quickly descend into the after effects of life.

There is no question that Make A Shadow is a five-song set that represents her mastery of the craft and the diversity of her range. The result is an alternative pop sound that easily snuggles up against the darkly tinged undercurrent of indie rock influences.

Make A Shadow reinforces the rawness of Meg Myers. 

Make A Shadow kicks off with the direct and seductive single Desire. After a series of passionate and even-paced pleadings, Desires drifts into some atmospheric tenderness before guitars change the tempo and bring the track to a fitting climax.

The guitar solo makes the song memorable, even if the genius is the songwriting. While any other singer could have made the song crash, Myers manages to make it intimate and meaningful. It's especially fitting how she lays out what she wants before asking "how do you want me," over and over and with insistence.

The guitar wrap up on Desire also becomes the perfect introduction for her briskly paced Go. It opens with a few plucky guitar notes before moving through an opening verse and coastal punk-inspired lyrics. There is significantly more attitude in Go than in the opener.

The contrast between the two tracks make a case for dark pop in that it tends to avoid exploitative themes and centers on empowerment. In one song, Myers is willing to share all of herself. In another, she is ready to build a wall or cut out all together.

The title track, Make A Shadow, doesn't pull punches either. The track is thunderous in its brighter pop chorus and restrained in its darker indie verse. In creating this sort of arrangement, it lands right where she wants to take it — playing from the shadow as opposed to the bright glare of a spotlight.

Even so, it seems unlikely Myers will remain in the shadows for long. Heart Heart Head carries some unnerving emotion as she sets the song up for three-quarters of it before wailing away in its climax. She screams hard enough to purposely crack her voice. And yet, somehow it works.

There is no doubt her fans will love it, even if I was more impressed by the bookend at the bottom. The Morning After is a compelling confessional, with acoustics making the song impossibly memorable. Nobody has made a better denotation song this year.

As much as I like her Los Angeles-based rocker roots, the fragility of The Morning After feels like seeing Myers for the first time. For a minute, the cityscape she now calls home felt farther away than where she was born and raised in Tennessee. She isn't so raw around the edges anymore. And the rawness that is left has been kept on intentionally.

Make A Shadow By Meg Myers Blinks 8.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

If you appreciate strong singer-songwriters who evoke the spirit of femme fatales, then Meg Myers is well worth a listen. Even better, she is only getting started. Her first album, Daughter In The Choir, caught me unaware when I first heard it but her new material proves her potential.

You can find Make A Shadow [Explicit] by Meg Myers on Amazon or you can download the EP from iTunes. Mostly, Myers has been playing residency shows in and around Los Angeles. I expect that to change soon. Look for an upcoming tour listing on Facebook.
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