Interview with Montreal singer-songwriter Megs about her new single ‘Parallel to You’

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Montreal-based Megs started singing before she could talk. Born and raised in Halifax, the singer-songwriter creates heartfelt ballads reminiscent of musical powerhouses Florence & the Machine, Daughter, or Lana Del Rey. 

Released on 13th September, her latest single ‘Parallel to You’ is her most personal yet and explores feelings of loss, discomfort, and grief. We caught up with the singer-songwriter to find out more about the single, her songwriting process, and who she is as an artist. 

‘Parallel to You’ is Megs’ second single to ever be publicly released and is the closest Megs has got so far to discovering her own, unique ‘sound’: “I think in order to get to the bottom of who I am as an artist, I need to just keep writing and putting more content out and explore different genres and styles. This last one felt the most ‘me’.”

I ask what about ‘Parallel to You’ made it the most ‘Megs’? “It was a really personal song. I wrote it about the loss of my dad. When he passed away I didn’t really get a lot of closure so for me, this felt like a way to honour him, and it also lifted a weight off my shoulders.”

Whilst the song is about Megs’ father, it was important to her that other listeners could get something from the song: “When I wrote this song all of these things started flowing out that had something to do with him, but I wanted to keep it unspecific enough that other people could listen to it and relate it to their own lives, and the feelings that go along with grief. I had someone tell me that this song reminds them of home. It was nice to hear that. It’s a sad song, but it’s also a happy song.” 

The lyrics are very poetic, filled with wordplay and hidden meanings. She explains: “The song was a lot of fun to write. I got to have a lot of creativity, playing with the lyrics, as they were a little more personal.

Does she have any specific examples? “My dad was a super lucky person, so when I say ‘horseshoe rambler’, it relates back to a saying we had in my family that my dad had a lucky horseshoe shoved up his ass because he was so lucky all the time. He would literally win everything. He would go to the casino with $10 and come home with $1,000. It was insane. And the rambler part represents his chatty personality.”

This poetic wordplay also features in the song title. Megs admits that she had difficulty selecting a title: “I was originally thinking of naming the song ‘I Don’t Want to Be Here’, but that didn’t express what the song was about enough to me. 

“‘Parallel to You’ is when you’re so close to someone, but you’re never going to meet. Like two parallel roads, very close, but never touching. When I was scribbling in my notebook I actually drew out two parallel roads, and it came from there.”

Megs doesn’t have a ‘conventional’ songwriting process. She explains that inspiration, lyrics or melodies will come to her in the strangest of places, and her phone is filled with half-finished voice notes and lyrics. 

She started writing ‘Parallel to You’ in Costco: “I was literally in Costco – I hate Costco. I got lost from my friend and started getting anxious, and the chorus came to me as I was searching the aisles for her. I actually started humming it into my phone there and then. I probably looked a little bit odd.”

After finalizing the lyrics and melody, she recorded the song with fellow Montreal musician Nick Gastis, with whom she recorded her first single ‘Mind & Heart’.

With COVID-19 still looming over us, it’s difficult to plan ahead, especially when it comes to live music and recording new music. However, Megs is still positive. She plans to continue writing and recording new music this year with the aim to release a full EP.

She also has unofficial plans to bring her family into the mix. “My family has been really supportive of everything. I send everything to my mum. I really care about what she thinks and I know that she’ll be brutally honest with everything. 

“My mum is actually a bit of a singer herself as well and I would love to do something with my mum. My aunt actually asked me if I would ever do a song with the three of us. When I next go back to Nova Scotia I want to do a family cover of The Cranberries – Zombie.”

Megs is still at the very beginning of her musical journey, and we’re excited to see what’s to come.

Parallel to You is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon. 

Cate Spree

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