One to Watch: Meg Mac

Meg Mac is a mystery. But she’s a compelling and intricate mystery that I want to unravel and solve.

Since winning a competition last year to perform at one of Australia’s biggest music festivals, Megan McInerney has been busy writing and fine-tuning her sound. What makes her unique is an aggressive and passionate vocal power that is matched by some bluesy instrumental and punchy rhythms. She once declared: “My favorite thing to do is perform in front of a crowd.”

What is interesting is how her confidence and mighty voice on stage don’t match her shyness in real life. She’s so softly spoken that I wonder where this powerhouse voice comes from and also, what her background is, what her upbringing was like, and whether she was a wallflower at school?

Her newness to the big stage is highlighted by her comments about receiving a parking ticket during sound check, her housemate sitting in the back corner selling her merch, and her mum being in the crowd. And this—combined with sharing the stage with her equally talented sister Hannah as her back-up singer—adds to her appeal.

Growing up in Australia listening to soul and folk music from Ireland (where her ancestors are from), Meg Mac has a real love and skill for writing soul music. Prevalent in her tracks are the influences of Frank Ocean, James Blake, and Lorde, who she credits as being modern-day inspirations.

The petite brunette opens her gigs with her first single “Known Better” and it’s clear she’s not here to mess around. Accompanied by some piano banging and percussion tapping beats, she interchanges between soft gentle vocals with those that are more commanding.

Her track “Every Lie” starts off with just her—singing softly and slowly, almost nervously, before erupting into her trademark raw, strong, and punchy production. It’s with this song that an element of her past in uncovered. Growing up with four brothers and sisters, she often wrote songs late at night, trying to be quiet while the household slept. As she explains, “I get embarrassed when people can hear my writing, because if I’ve never sung it before I’m not that confident it’s good.” We can tell you now, Meg Mac, it’s good.

In the above video, she sings a cover of “Bridges” by Broods for the radio station that discovered her (Triple J).

One of my fave tracks is “Saint Philomène,” a solo tune accompanied only by a loop pedal and her chest tapping, harmonized humming, layered on top of each other, and sung entirely in French.

Her latest single is “Roll Up Your Sleeve,” a feel-good song about life that tells you “everything is gonna be alright.”

She’s a raw talent who simply loves performing, and that’s why she’s so good.

Title image source: Aleksandar Jason Photography via Facebook

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