Life can throw you in unexpected directions with even more unexpected outcomes. We know it, and Meg Mac knows it. Luckily enough, the Australian singer has created an entire album about her experiences and how to handle life when things don’t go as planned. We talked to Meg Mac to get a closer look at her highly anticipated album, Low Blows, out now and what it means to the singer.
Cliché: How long did it take you make this album?
Meg Mac: I spent a day with Niles City Sound in Fort Worth to try out one song; this was in 2016. I was really into the Leon Bridges album they made there and organized this trip after meeting the guys backstage at a festival in Australia. It was because of that one day in their studio that I ended up making my album there. From there, it all came together pretty quickly. My songs are all written on piano, and we took all of them from that point to what they are now. I finished up additional production and mixing in New York at Electric Lady.
What inspired this album?
I’m always writing about what I’m experiencing, about my life and where I’m at. Leading up to the making of the album, I’d been spending a lot of time touring between Australia and America. I did a tour with D’Angelo, and that experience really inspired me and was important for me. I was in New York in between everything; I started reading the Patti Smith books while I was there and her attitude and music then really had an impact on me. Artists like Bob Dylan and Sam Cooke were really important to me as well, and of course I was hearing a lot of D’Angelo.
Tell us about your single “Low Blows.”
I wrote “Low Blows” in my bedroom in Melbourne. It’s about looking back, wishing I’d spoken up, and how things would be different if I knew how to stand up for myself. After I put it out, I had a lot of people reach out to me on social media—people sending me messages to say that they felt the same way and that it had connected with them. I really liked hearing that.
Your vocal sound is different than what is popular for musicians now. To a new fan, how would you describe your music style?
I always find it impossible to describe what I sound like, but I write all my songs at the piano, and then from there I like to mess around with harmonies, different layers, and moods I can make just using my voice. I think you can hear with all my music that it’s coming from there—everything can always go back to just me and the piano.
I wrote “Low Blows” in my bedroom in Melbourne. It’s about looking back, wishing I’d spoken up, and how things would be different if I knew how to stand up for myself.
If you could pick one song off this album to be what fans define you by, which would you want it to be and why?
There’s a song on my album called “Shiny Bright.” It’s one of the tracks that came together all in one go; I wanted it to be one performance from beginning to end. It’s a song that really sums up my life and where I was at when I wrote it—when I started to realize that life isn’t as shiny and bright as I thought it was going to be and having to accept that the bad stuff is just part of it. You hear people say that all the time, but when you work it out for yourself, it’s hard.
Overall, the album is about being yourself, especially when life gives you unexpected challenges. How do you feel this motto will resonate with fans?
The album is a collection of songs I wrote that are all really important to me. They’re my stories and my experiences and how I feel about it all. I hope people can take something from that.
Do you have a favorite song off the album?
It’s hard to choose a favorite because each song is really important for different reasons, but there’s a song called “Ride It” on the album that I find very exciting. It was the first time I’d ever really had a guitar feature on a track, and I got so inspired when we were recording that I started to teach myself guitar in the studio. When I was in New York working at Electric Lady, I picked out my first electric guitar. I am very excited about this new sound I get to play with.
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Meg Mac Opens Up About New Album ‘Low Blows’: Photographed by Metaxia Coustas