Singer-songwriter Megan Washington has opened up about the development of her yet-to-be-named second studio album, detailing the experiences and set-backs which have now shaped her as a musician.
Washington, who now lives in Hackney, London, has been working on a follow-up to her ARIA-winning 2010 debut I Believe You Liar. In a recent Fairfax Media feature, she revealed that the process has been one of self-reflection, and one which has been achieved by surrounding herself with the right people.
Co-producers, a co-writer, session musicians and a caterer/housemate/therapist have helped Washington through this process. “I’ve done a lot of work in the last two years, seeing a person regularly, to talk about my brain. And that works,” she revealed.
Explaining further, she says, “I feel like I don’t need the vices any more. I want to live well, live long, live happy. I thought that art had to come from chaos, that your love life has to be a mess and everything – this nebulous omelette of broken hearts, lyrics and shit. I don’t feel like that any more.”
Washington notes that her dark 2010 EP Insomnia mapped a low point in her life, after two relationship break-ups. It was written mostly during a trip to the US, and then seemingly left as a foot-note to her other writing. “I was deranged,” she says of that point in her life.
Yet what that EP taught her was that she was “obsessed with being in love”. “I almost changed my personality to fit with what I believed that [other] person required,” she said. “And then I wondered why I was doing all this shit. So I stopped all that.”
“I’m glad that I’m a hopeless romantic, I’m happy for that. But I’ve stopped acting on it,” she said. “I don’t think I have been single for this long ever. Months and months. Before, I would have just done it, met someone at a party and had a boyfriend who was a bricklayer for six weeks, and then had another one.”
Reflecting on her past performance experiences, Washington discussed the amount of devotion she’s put into this next record. “I always balanced any success with proper destructive behaviour. If we had a big show, I’d get super-drunk.”
“When we played the Big Day Out and there were, like, thousands of people to see us, I was convinced they were all there to see me fail. I’m not alone in that, but it’s no way to live, and it’s also no way to make music.”
“But this record has come from a place of absolute devotion, scholastic, monkish, researched thought. It’s come from a clean place,” she revealed.
She has also undergone a slight rebranding, now releasing music under her full name. “In a public sense [the early recordings] looked like me, but conceptually, philosophically … it was a lot of all of us,” she posits. “This record is not like that. This record is mine. Mine. So very mine that it’s not Washington, it is Megan Washington.”
Megan Washington plays the Lost Picnic Festival in Sydney’s Centennial Park tomorrow Sunday, 23rd March. Check out her new single Who Are You below.
Listen: Megan Washington – Who Are You