Meg Washington can do heaps of impressive shit.
You've probably seen or heard some of it over the years, what with the operas and TV soundtracks and TED Talks and voicing cartoon characters and that really dark eye shadow she wore while bringing showtunes back at the ARIAs in 2010.
Maybe you forgot during all the colour and noise that while Meg Washington can do heaps of impressive shit, the most impressive thing she does is write great songs. Meg doesn't blame you for that; for a while there, she almost forgot that herself.
It's been a big decade for all involved, but certainly for the artist formerly known as every possible permutation of her own name (including an exceptionally cool all-caps WASHINGTON), it's been a bit of an odyssey just to get back to square one. Having slayed all the monsters, even while carrying a baby in her belly, Meg recalled how much fun it was to write great songs about strange and icky things.
So here we are, then. 'Dark Parts'. A bonkers, kind-of pop song that's in ⅞ time. Two other artists that famously made ⅞ popular include Thom Yorke and Dave Brubeck. We just thought you might want to know that in case it comes up during the next Good Weekend quiz.
'Dark Parts' is the single that begets the album, but we'll talk about that later. It has 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? It's the sound of pop music tearing at its own fabric, writhing in the darkness as Washington, ever the maestro, conducts this chaos from the centre. It's the first in a suite of tunes Meg turned upside down and shook out all the junk. 'I'm here to have fun,' she says. 'Why not just record music you like with people you like?'
Sam Dixon (Sia, Adele, Meg) is one of them, a guy that plays and produces everything. Konstantin Kersting (The Jungle Giants, Mallrat, Tones and I), another. Tracked the vocals down the road from Meg, in the same studio that birthed 'Dance Monkey' nary a month earlier. Turns out when the record concept isn't a 'concept' and the animated video is stuffed with intriguing creatures Meg's been hand-drawing in her daydreams and wickedly assembling in real life, it's not really laborious at all.
'Dark Parts' is what happens when an unquenchably creative person gets the keys back to that car they used to tear around in with the windows down and the stereo blasting. It's emotional, not cerebral. It's art, but you shouldn't need to be hushed and reverential to enjoy it.