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MEG MAC The X-Press Interview

With her contemporary twist on classic soul, Meg Mac returns to break our hearts and heal us again with a sensational debut album Low Blows, out this Friday, July 14. Her national tour hits Perth in October, with two shows (October 5 and 6) already sold out and a third (Sunday, October 8) on sale now. SARAH DAY had a chat to Mac ahead of her album release.

Meg Mac’s dynamic vocals have propelled her into a career that has dabbled in triumph after triumph since first breaking onto the Australian music scene with Every Lie in 2014. She has since ascended to new heights, achieving four triple J Hottest 100 entries, two platinum Australian singles with Roll Up Your Sleeves and Never Be and to top it all off, has glided smoothly into the American music scene after supporting D’Angelo in 2015.

The girl with the enormous voice sits down beside me in a full-length white trench coat; her iconic angular bob of brown hair is parted at the side and folded over in a charming retro style as she grips a bottle of sparkling water between her fingers. She speaks softly and glows with a buzz of anticipation, hesitantly dancing around small talk we cut straight into the details of her new music.

Meg Mac’s process is simple and impulsive. Always writing, she digs deep into her own experiences and finds inspiration from the people closest to her.

“If I wasn’t doing music full time I’d probably still be just writing songs because when I first started writing songs I was just writing because it felt good,” she says. “There’s lots of things that I write all the time that no one will ever hear because they’re just for me, its just something I do. I’m always making up stuff, there’s a lot of unheard Meg Mac.”

The lead single and title track Low Blows first swooned across Aussie airwaves in March this year and has experienced extensive radio support as Meg’s return was readily welcomed. “I almost had to re-introduce myself because I’d been away for so long and Low Blows just felt like the right one to do that,” she says. “The whole song’s just about looking back and thinking life would’ve been different if I’d stood up for myself more. I think a lot of people struggle with that, and I think I’m still working on it.”

The Australian singer songwriter took up residence in Fort Worth, Texas last year to record the heart stopping melodies that make up her debut album Low Blows. “The whole studio there had a lot of really old gear and equipment, the whole process was really fun and not something I’d experienced before,” she says. “The first day walking into the studio, all the guys in there were wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots; it definitely felt far away from Australia.”

Growing up with two Irish parents, a mother who loved to sing around the house and a father who listened heavily to the big soul icons, Mac’s style developed organically. Her musical influences aren’t decidedly pigeonholed into genre, looking up to artists like Bob Dylan and Edith Piaf, she explains “I find a lot of different music to be soulful even if it’s not in the soul genre.”

Her most recently released track off the album Maybe It’s My First Time was recorded with Niles City Sound, the very same team that collaborated on Leon Bridges album Coming Home.

“I had heard the Leon Bridges album and I really loved it because you don’t hear music like that anymore,” she says. “I met them at Falls Festival when I was playing on the same day as Leon in Tasmania. We organised for me to fly to Dallas and spend a day in the studio to try out one song and it was because of that day that I decided to go and make the album over there.”

Her album consisting of ten breathtakingly personal tracks was named in Rolling Stone’s top 20 most anticipated albums of the year. She’s graceful and humble around the topic of her success, a quality that shines through her music to provide the most authentically raw material.

Her heavily anticipated return to the stage will kick off at Splendour In The Grass in July, a show that she’s especially looking forward to unleashing her new music at, ahead of three dates (so far) announced in Perth.

“I am nervous, but I feel like I go insane when I don’t get to do shows and just get out there.”

SARAH DAY

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