In general we like to operate in the emerging music category. With The Recommender being part of the public’s ‘music discovery’ service it is actually very rare for us to provide coverage of an artist who’s already signed to a major record label, has had a string of massive sold out shows in her adopted home country of Australia (she’s was born in Papua New Guinea), picked up two ARIA awards, and had her debut album go platinum. Surely that’s a little bit too emerged, right? Wrong. Washington may have found lots of success in Australia over the last year, but that’s, like, on the opposite side of the this planet – we haven’t even had her debut single out in the UK yet! That’s un-emerged enough for us.
Megan Washington has finally signed up with Mercury Records on this side of the world, allowing her to begin her assault on the UK charts. Her debut album, I Believe You Liar, is all set for a British release on November 7th. It delivers her brand of confident, styled pop, that contains just enough punch and edge to earn her a Recommender post. Fans of dramatic pop that we’ve seen with the likes of fellow Aussie, Kimbra, or Florence & The Machine, or most recently Yadi, will like what’s on offer here. Just like these others she looks great and exudes stacks of confidence in her voice and her performances.
The debut single, Holy Moses, (which is also out on November 7th), didn’t seem to be on the debut album when it was initially released in Australia in the summer of 2010, but it’s since been recorded and not only finds a place among the thirteen tracks on the album’s British release, but is being pitched by the label as the best way to introduce her to our market. If nothing else it proves that this is an artist that’s still improving with every new tune she pens. Drums rumble as if coming out of the jungle, whilst she introduces her smooth, alluring voice that’s reminiscent in parts of Eddi Reader. There’s even a kazzoo involved. A kazzoo! Now that takes balls.
If there’s any other side to her coin it’s that the songs are a little predictable, but in fairness so is much of the competition’s chart-ready pop music that’s around. Occasionally she steps over the dramatic pop line and feels more like a Broadway production, which is definitely not a good thing, but it’s also something she’s clearly happy to embrace; as you can see below she’s tapped into precisely that for the debut single’s video. And what a video it is, with much pomp and ceremony and some excellent, inventive touches. Only a video like this can be made with a major label’s financial backing.
In support of the debut’s launch she plans a small UK tour throughout November, (you can see the various dates listed below). One of the great things about foreign artists who eventually decide to perform in the UK from afar is that they arrive already polished, so we expect the live show to be brimming with confidence. This should stand her in good stead, as she’s competing alongside other UK acts in our market, yet she’s already several steps ahead. However, as a footnote, it’s also worth pointing out that it’s not your experience, or your confidence that will hand you success, but the quality of your music. We think we agree with the Australians on this artist, but the key question now is addressed to our UK readers – what do you think? (MB)
Tue 1st Nov, Edinburgh Electric Circus
Wed 2nd Nov, Glasgow King Tuts
Thu 3rd Nov, Dublin Whelan’s 2
Fri 4th Nov, Birmingham Rainbow Warehouse
Sun 6th Nov, Manchester Deaf Institute
Mon 7th Nov, Bristol Start The Bus
Tue 8th Nov, London Bush Hall
WASHINGTON – HOLY MOSES
WASHINGTON – HOW TO TAME LIONS