Carrot Top Records

Megan Reilly

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After a five year wait, the enigmatic Megan Reilly returns from our last ghostly encounter with her captivating music to present us with a new album that holds a creative leap born of great, unexpected personal transformation. Megan's countrified Memphis roots and subsequent New York City escape still underpin her music, music which resounds with her "delightful combination of vulnerability and Southern grace" (Dallas Observer). But The Well holds a treasure chest of surprises. Megan's country-tinged coo and warble can still turn on a dime to a hair-raising growl. For the first time, though, her musical tone and lyrical focus at times portray an urgent sense of hope wrought by love. Shockingly to all, not the least Megan Reilly, it is love that spawns her greatest work: "To Seal My Love." It is a plaintive lullaby quickly shifting gears into roaring, triumphant, anthemic majesty that fully envelopes, overwhelms, and warms.

During her hiatus, Megan had a child, moved out of New York, learned to bake and quilt, and became fully domesticated. Fear not. She hasn't gone soft or forgotten how to write the songs that captured our hearts in the first place.

A rich and carefully chosen metaphor, The Well can be a deep place of impenetrable darkness, fear, and mystery, a place that does not relinquish its visitors. In these depths, Megan Reilly again bravely faces off with the specter of existential darkness. With her band of aces, Steven Goulding (d-Mekons), James Mastro (g-Health and Happiness Show, Bongos), and Tony Maimone (b-Pere Ubu), Megan still conjures an enveloping cross between emotive Irish fatalism and Southern Gothic macabre. She still comfortably camps in these darkest of corners. “The Lady of Leitrim,” filled with Lenny Kaye’s (Patti Smith
Group) singularly ethereal riffs, haunts us long after The Lady disappears, and as an arrow punctures Megan’s heart, her little “Little Angel” flies away before its time. But her surprising cover of Iris Dement’s plaintive “After You’re Gone" portends new directions. Upon this song’s foundation of pain, Megan finds the strength to face Death's sting and still hold onto love.

Following her long dark night of the soul, no one was more surprised than Megan to find that The Well is simultaneously a place of creativity and redemption. The Well's resident muse offers up blindingly beautiful gems like her obliquely enigmatic “To Seal My Love," that again delivers Lenny Kaye’s indispensable shimmer. Maybe old friend like John Wesley Harding receives his own visit from the The Well's muse and is handed an earworm of a duet, “Old Man and the Bird.” Once discovered, the muse of The Well can lead you out the darkness once and for all.
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