“Music is at the core of my life, so Make Music Day is important to me. Now more than ever we know the power that music has to connect, inspire, energize and soothe – it’s a way to communicate, to explore and celebrate ourselves” | Megan Washington
Award winning WASHINGTON received glowing reviews across the country with the release of her third studio album ‘Batflowers’. The LP was chosen as one of the Best Australian Albums of 2020 by The Guardian, is shortlisted for the AMP Awards, Rolling Stone Readers Award and won the 2020 ARIA Award for Best Cover with She Is Aphrodite Adam Dal Pozzo. (Adam was also behind all the visuals for the live show). Megan was also one of the finalists for Double J’s Australian Artist of the Year and most recently announced, the song Batflowers is shortlisted for the prestigious Vanda & Young’s Song Competition.
The Sydney Morning Herald said that “Washington’s impressive command of her relatively small stage gave proof her music can work anywhere, anyway, any time.”
Meg has released three studio albums, I Believe You Liar (July 2010), There There (September 2014) and Batflowers (August 2020). She has won three ARIA Music Awards with two in 2010 for I Believe You Liar, Best Female Artist and Breakthrough Artist – Release. A CV of musical styles from Jazz, Blues & Roots to Indie and releases and collaborations too numerous to name.
For the album Batflowers, it was an exercise in believing one’s own hype, getting to the raw guts of why anyone makes music at all.
We’re talking art direction, photography, hand-assembled animation, A&R. The entire kit and kaboodle of the album-making process. Confidence that only comes from taking back control; hand-picking producers for their vibe, like John Congleton (Angel Olsen, St Vincent, Moses Sumney), Japanese Wallpaper (Mallrat, Allday), and Dave Hammer (Jess Kent, Mia Rodriguez, Lime Cordiale). Little rhyme or reason, unless of course you’re the one holding the score.
Take lead single Dark Parts, for example. A bonkers, kind-of pop song that’s in ⅞ time. Handclaps and snaking left-hand piano and some very Presets-ish syncopated drum bits and sudden chord changes before the chorus because why not, right? Polished by Sam Dixon (Sia, Adele, Meg) and Konstantin Kersting (Mallrat, Tones and I, The Jungle Giants). Raucously received, even though eminently strange.
Follow that up with a triple chaser of key bangers you’re yet to hear but soon to love:
Uno. Batflowers, pairing palm-muted guitar with three-part harmonies that swim across verses before opening up into a pulsing ‘80s rhythm.
Dos. Lazarus Drug, the slow-release, synth-soaked ballad that reunites Meg with co-conspirator Japanese Wallpaper and features one of her most emotionally arresting melodies in years.
Tres. The Give, indulging a fondness for stadium torch anthems with booming percussion, ten thousand swirling mini-Megs, keyboards that swell like oceans and at least four references to Joseph Conrad’s seminal novel.
Plenty more songs like that across Batflowers. It’s the sound of pop music tearing at its own fabric, writhing in the darkness as Meg, ever the maestro, conducts this chaos from the centre. A suite of tunes Meg turned upside down to shake out all the junk. ‘I’m here to have fun,’ she says. ‘Why not just record music you like with people you like?’