Top News

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Meg Warren returns with ‘A Thousand Ways’ EP

As the pop quartet Repartee went from small crowds in the bars of St. John’s in 2009, to opening stadium shows and dancing across festival stages, more and more, lead singer Meg Warren found herself staring down a growing obstacle: depression.

“I just reached a point where I wasn’t well and I wasn’t functioning,” she said.

As 2017 approached, the momentum they had worked so hard to maintain began slowing down. Repartee played their last show in August of that year.

“I spent almost all of my 20s playing in Repartee,” Warren said. “It was the singular focus of my life. It was the band above almost everything else.”

Leaving her band didn’t just mean losing her job. It also meant being forced into discovering who she was outside of the world they had created, alone.

But Warren, never one to stop hunting for the next hook, continued writing. This time, however, where the songs would lead or who they were for wasn’t a consideration.

“I had started using writing as, pretty exclusively, this coping mechanism,” she said. “When you’re writing with this idea in your mind that it doesn’t matter how bad it is, because no one is going to hear it. … I found that really liberating.”

Eventually, Warren felt the pull to get back to the recording studio.

“All of a sudden I had a bunch of songs,” she said. “It’s not like I had to sit down and write for a project. I already had the project finished.”

Those songs are what make up Warren’s new EP, called “A Thousand Ways.”

In the verse of her first single, “Bomb,” Warren sings of everyday, mundane occurences over single piano notes and a to-the-point drum beat.

The hi-hats drop out and a simple transition between two chords is played, as she sings of a well of pain that overflows after receiving the smallest reminder of a person from the past.

The song ignites into a guitar-driven chorus, layered with distorted vocals and synth. A rumbling bass, which had been hiding in the background by repeating the root note, drops into the guttural regions of the mix when the words, “Thought I was doing OK,” are sung, elevating the emotional depth behind Warren’s voice, and stares down the second round of the melody.

The EP was recorded with Daniel Ledwell, an award-winning producer with a studio on Lake Echo, N.S., where he lives with his wife, singer-songwriter Jenn Grant, and their two children.

“Meg reached out (and) she was interested in learning more about engineering and production,” Ledwell said. “She knew exactly what she wanted, so I helped her and showed her how to get bigger sounds in a few places.”

And as a multi-instrumentalist with a great sense of what she wants, Ledwell said he sees it as a natural progression for Warren to start producing albums for other people.

While chasing his two-year-old around his house, the sound of objects hitting the floor a near-constant, Ledwell said Warren’s new batch of songs and recordings are more personal and more focused on her own taste.

“(But) it’s still her voice and I think a lot of listeners hear the vocal first,” he said. “It’s still Meg, it’s still her voice.”

With the EP finished, Warren says she was looking at hitting the road again before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“I love being on the road, I love playing shows, I love that world, I love the smell of rotten old bars,” she said. “Being a part of that world, I just love it. … I miss that. I was really looking forward to getting back and playing.”

And while she’ll have to settle with waiting, it’s good to finally have something out after so long.

“To feel like I’m working in the industry again, it feels nice,” she said. “I’ve been sitting on these songs for years, so it’s nice to finally get them out.”

“A Thousand Ways” will be released on Nov. 27 across streaming platforms.

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories