Meg Myers fans have been waiting for nearly three years for her highly anticipated sophomore album. On July 20, those fans will be rewarded for their patience with the singer-songwriter’s 12-track album, Take Me to the Disco.
Like you may expect of a sophomore release, Myers’ sound has evolved and become a bit more refined. But for an artist who was known for her frenetic energy, her unconstrained, often frightening vocals, refined might not be what fans were expecting.
The record was produced by Christian “Leggy” Langdon (younger brother of ’90s alt-rock act Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon). Myers had only previously worked with her longtime producer Doctor Rosen Rosen, but recorded with Langdon mostly at his Topanga studio.
This album is missing some of the raw grit present on past tunes like “Sorry” and the scary-in-a-good-way power of “Desire.” Don’t get me wrong—this album isn’t about sunshine and rainbows. Myers’ sound is still decidedly dark and tunes like the macabre “Funeral” haunt with horror movie-esque guitar rifts and creepy lyrics, “I’ll give you my heart when I’m six foot deep. / It’s beautiful / Baby my love’s like a funeral.”
Her anger is visceral on penultimate tune “Tear Me to Pieces,” as she builds into a near-scream in the final minute of the song when she accuses her lover of being a “fucking liar.” I’m most excited to see this song performed live (and as noted by Mark Ortega in his review of her live show, I won’t be disappointed).
But many of the tunes on this album are downright pretty, with some more successful than others. There isn’t a bad tune on the album per se but some of the lighter numbers simply aren’t memorable, like “Jealous Sea” and “I’m Not Sorry.” The latter has a pretty cool and unexpected build at the end, but the drone of repeated words in the first half of the song ruins it for me.
“Some People” is one of the pretty songs that is a home run for Myers. The synths strike an upbeat Enya vibe, and as noted in our interview with Meg last week, that’s exactly what she was going for. There’s a healing power to the track and the songwriting pulls at heartstrings.
While I’m likely to skip through some of the more reserved tunes when listening to the album, one of my favorites is the gorgeous self-titled track. You might expect a song titled “Take Me to the Disco” to be a fun dance jaunt, but it’s quite the opposite. The song is made dreamy and atmospheric with a steady piano melody and a lush string section, complimented by Myers’ hazy layered vocals.
The album is the first the singer has released since parting ways with Atlantic Records at the conclusion of recording. Her single “Numb” catalogs her struggle to operate under corporate direction with lyrics “I hate the feeling of this weight upon my shoulders, pushing the pressure down on me / You think you want the best for me but nothing really matters / If you force it, it won’t come.”
Now working with indie label 300 Entertainment, Myers appears to have taken the reins again. With more control over this album, Myers took risks, like trading spending more time on the piano than her trusty bass and incorporating a strings sections into about half of the tunes. Although Myers’ divergence from her first album may not please her all of her fans, it’s great to see her fully in control of her music once again.
Take Me To The Disco arrives Friday, July 20. Pre-order the record here.
Words by Samantha Cowan
Photos by Justin Higuchi