Bursting onto the Australian music scene in 2013 as a triple j Unearthed artist, Meg Mac has ascended in leaps and bounds cementing herself as a stalwart in the industry. After the success of her debut EP Meg Mac (2015) and her first full-length album Low Blows (2017) Mac is back with a new mini-album, Hope.
Hope is the culmination of seven deeply heartfelt and emotionally charged songs. It is representative of Mac’s ever-growing maturity and complexity. Thematically, Give Me My Name Back, released as a single in 2018, prepares listeners for what can be expected within the album. It is a homage to everyone who has experienced loss of identity, dignity and self-worth and is attempting to reclaim them.
Musically, it ventures into a synthesis of soul infused with synthetic beats something Mac has only dabbled in previously. Title track Hope similarly adopts this approach while lyrically diving into the internal juxtaposition hope can generate, ‘And I dream about moving on/ and I dream about giving it up/ but I can’t find my way without it.’
Head Away, and I’m Not Coming Back return to the Meg Mac sound we have grown accustomed to. The former, with its consistent back beat like a heartbeat sustaining life and the latter with its vocal experimentation, bring with them a comforting familiarity despite the affecting content. If You Want Me to Stay initially continues with an air of musical solemness and subtleness, however, crescendos mid-verse to support the vastness of Mac’s impressive vocal range. Mac’s vocals are further highlighted on Something Tells Me, a powerful, up-tempo delight, and the electro-soul Before Trouble, the album’s final song.
Hope is a laconic yet poignant twenty seven minutes of music. Produced by Myles Wootton, it is an album that impressively complements fragility and empowerment both lyrically and musically highlighting Meg Mac’s ongoing transformation as a person and artist.
Album Review By Anita Kertes