BEST OF 2020 #5: Washington
As the 2020 pandemic situation continued to wreak havoc well into the second half of the year, a glimmering highlight for me personally and professionally was one morning in August when the sing-song spoken voice of Megan Washington (aka the mononymous Washington) purred down the phone to me ahead of the impending release of her third album Batflowers.
I would be telling a bald-faced lie if I didn't admit I was fan-girling hard ahead of this phone call popping up in my inbox. Not only am I a huge fan of this creative powerhouse, but I have frequently been enamoured by Megan's tenacity and undying ability to just be herself, all dizzying whimsy and smoky magic, with just the right amount of offbeat charm. With all of these expectations stacked as the phone call was connected, I could realistically have been setting myself up for a terrible disappointment. Instead, I was gifted with an utterly beautiful moment in time with this otherworldly being; from complimenting a friend's haircut in between stories as she walked outside for a brief respite from Melbourne's lockdown, to shaping the wild journey that led to the creation of Batflowers, Megan Washington is a formidable yet relatable force of nature. But perhaps even more impressive is her ability to make you feel like an old friend with open arms as you trespass into the dark recesses of her art. Unpredictable and unpretentious, it is an absolute pleasure today to re-share the interview I grabbed with Washington. Original article and audio interview below.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: August 29 2020
Creativity can be a blessing and a curse; for some, it's a cathartic outlet to express and explore, for others it's an unavoidable necessity, like an elusive oxygen for the soul. But amid the cacophony that can accompany the creative realms and music in particular, it's not uncommon for artists to sometimes lose sight of the ultimate reason they continue to draw like curious moths to the musical flame: to make art. And while the dazzling Megan Washington, aka the mononymous Washington, has been performing and creating for decades, it's on her third album Batflowers that this Aussie music fixture strips to the core of her creative purpose and prowess, unveiling a groundbreaking take on genre-blurred pop and an audacious amalgamation of who she truly is as an artist.
Taking the reins for every facet of the process, from art direction to photography, hand-assembled animation and hand-picking producers, Batflowers is a celebration of autonomy, collaboration and an inadvertent challenge to the oft stagnant realities of operating in the volatile music industry. But if you strip all the inspiring backstory away, the end result for this new album is still equally impressive, as Washington invokes a suite of tunes crawling with chaotic beauty and unbridled frivolity that burrow and frolick with verdant ease . And just before she unleashed her new creation to the world, Tiana Speter grabbed a moment with Ms Washington amid construction work noises to chat creativity, innovation and finding her way in a pandemic world.
Go grab a listen, interview below!
BY TIANA SPETER