Dressed in cut-off jean shorts and a black crop top with auburn hair, flawless, porcelain skin and bright red lips, Meg Meyers arrived for her Fender Studio Session at Capitol Records with a fire simmering below that innocent exterior.
And once the 27-year-old soft-spoken songstress, who was born in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, stepped in front of the microphone, she unleashed that flame with her confessional lyrics and hard-edged indie rock, reminiscent of Tori Amos or Fiona Apple.
“Baby I wanna f–k you / I wanna feel you in my bones / Boy I’m gonna love you / I’m gonna tear into your soul,” she sings on the Nine Inch Nail-influenced “Desire,” the explicit lyrics made even more jarring by dirty guitar tones emanating from a Fender Stratocaster blended with the haunting, melodic play of cellist Ken Oak.
“I was going through a lot; they (lyrics) were very sexual, but I tell people they were so much deeper than that to me,” Myers said of “Desire” in an interview with Chicago Now. “That’s why I feel I can get away with it. The feeling is vulnerable and also man-eater when I was writing it. It was a very physical feeling that I put into it, but it was so much more than just writing about sex.
“I felt those emotions when writing it and feel those emotions when in a relationship—conquering yet vulnerable yet painful.”
With vocals that are sometimes breathy and restrained and sometimes venomous, the music literally appears as if it’s coursing through her veins.
Watching Myers live, one gets the sense that the performance is certainly cathartic.
“It’s so hard to speak about myself,” she told Fender News after her session. “It’s so hard. But from the moment I picked up the guitar or started to play piano, it was just so therapeutic for me.”
Myers certainly appears much more comfortable with expressing herself on stage, where she tends to focus on raw and dark truths.
“Hearing happy music all the time? That’s the kind of thing that makes me want to kill myself,” she said in an interview with LA Weekly.
For instance, vulnerability and regret were the focus as she picked up an acoustic for her second song and bared her emotions with the contemplative ballad “Morning After.”
“I can’t feel anything the morning after you, and I can’t tell anyone the morning after you,” she sang.
Both tracks appear on her 2014 EP Make a Shadow, which she collaborated on with Doctor Rosen Rosen.
Backed by Atlantic Records with a spot on the Lollapalooza festival and lots of buzz, Myers appears to be ready for a breakout. And while the road to get this to a point has been paved with challenges, it’s a journey the LA-based artist simple had to take.
“It is weird to look back because I was living in Florida and decided to move out to LA to actually pursue music when I was 20,” she said. “It was really hard, but it’s been one of those things since I was little where I have no other thing. It’s not like I’m not good at other things, but it’s just I have to do music. It’s always been a love/hate relationship. It gets harder and then it gets easier. It’s a weird road to choose the music world. I’m like, ‘What have I done?’ But, I just have to.”