December/January 2014

by Matthew deKimble

Fresh Talent: Megan Sidwell

by Matthew deKimble

Fresh Talent: Megan Sidwell

“I’d love to play Wembley,”” says Megan Sidwell, a smile creeping across her lips as she muses on her dream performance. “I just need to be the next Lorde!””

Serious she may not be but Megan is making her mark on the local music scene with glowing reviews of her first EP and strong live shows.

Originally hailing from Tauranga, Megan moved to Auckland to pursue a career in music and study popular music at the University of Auckland. She started playing keyboard in primary school and taught herself guitar by ear at 15, because “… guitars are awesome,”” she chuckles. She began experimenting and writing songs almost straight away.

Megan’’s musical style has clear influences of Taylor Swift, Foo Fighters and Julia Deans, but the songs are all hers.

“I draw my inspiration from life, they’’re all based on personal events,”” she says, admitting it’’s a perfect subject matter for classic country songs.

Forever on a Sunday’‘ is her debut EP. Five tracks of country pop goodness, a presence that lingers long after the 20 minute run time and an incredibly polished sound for a first release.

“I’’d wanted to do pop songs with the edge of a country to it. I’ve always liked blues and I’ve started liking country harmonies and slide guitars and wanted to incorporate that into my songs. Forever on a Sunday is one of those moments where you’’re so happy you don’’t want it to disappear,”” she says.

Produced and mixed by Ben King (of Grand Rapids and Goldenhorse fame), the quality of the recordings are something to behold. Recorded at The Lab in Mt. Eden and King’’s own studio in little over a month, his overall involvement was much longer.

“It started at the beginning of 2012. I was put in touch with Ben by my lecturer. Ben and I had some meetings and discussed what we wanted to bring to the songs and ended up really bonding.””

King brought in Nick Gaffney (Cairo Knife Fight) as a session drummer and being multi-instrumentalists they managed to record it all between the three of them. Simon Gooding added the final touches with mastering at York Street.

With both a stunning EP and newly finished music degree under her belt Megan is looking forward to the string of gigs lined up for summer.

“I love playing with a band, when you’’re on stage and everyone gets excited it’’s magic,”” she beams. “I want to do more touring, get more opening slots and hopefully at the end of next year record a full length album.””

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