Megan Reilly
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Megan Reilly

Montclair, New Jersey, United States

Montclair, New Jersey, United States
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

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Aug
01
Megan Reilly @ North Star Bar

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Jul
27
Megan Reilly @ Local 506

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Jul
26
Megan Reilly @ The Black Cat

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Music

Press


It’s a somber but striking few minutes with Megan Reilly. She’s a great singer and songwriter who’d probably find herself in the “alt-country” realm of things if that sort of thing mattered but as it is, Reilly’s simply a special talent. Her latest is ‘The Well,’ something of a departure from her previous work but still a showcase for her tremendous voice and gloomy charisma. The album’s opener is a good place to start, one called “To Seal My Love.” We’re not going to pretend this one’s “unplugged” by the books (the plug is, in fact, quite visible) but with only her voice and a stag guitar, “To Seal My Love” soars straight up. Don’t miss this one. - AltarTV


Originally from Memphis but a resident of New York City for the past decade or so, singer-songwriter Megan Reilly has a fan in Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, who helped her get her original record deal. Ever since, Reilly's country-inflected soft rock has evolved further into pop territory since her 2002 debut Arc of Tessa and 2006's Let Your Ghost Go.
It wasn't that long ago that Reilly was featured on World Cafe: Next as an artist on the rise — and she's accompanied John Wesley Harding, who performs a duet on her new album, on this program before. Here, she returns to World Cafe to perform new songs and chat with host David Dye about the influence of traditional and psychedelic folk music on her third studio album, The Well. - NPR


Megan Reilly/John Wesley Harding
Memphis songwriter Megan Reilly will release The Well, her first album in six years, Tuesday on Carrot Top Records. The album contains seven examples of Reilly's knack for writing hauntingly evocative, elementally lovely songs, backed by a band featuring members of the Mekons and Pere Ubu. There's also an ideally suited cover of Iris DeMent's mortality-confronting "After You're Gone," and a gorgeous duet with John Wesley Harding on "The Old Man & the Bird," written by the most charmingly erudite English novelist/troubadour living in Philadelphia. On Friday night, Reilly will precede Harding on stage at the Tin Angel in Old City, and she'll do the same thing Saturday afternoon as a part of a seven-act, free Record Store Day show at Main Street Music in Manayunk.
- Dan DeLuca - Philadelphia Inquirer


Memphis-born singer-songwriter Megan Reilly moved to New York City to jump start her music career, which lead to two critically acclaimed albums. Her third, The Well, is her first release in six years, and features a duet with John Wesley Harding. Reilly talked to us about music and motherhood, the most important song on The Well, her Thin Lizzy obsession and more. - American Songwriter



Megan Reilly's voice and spirit are immediately captivating. She brings warmth to even the darkest of topics—a few of which are covered on her new album, The Well. From breakups to death, the material can be maudlin, but Reilly is a skilled songstress: she beautifies what she touches.
- Interview Magazine


Megan Reilly strips away the gloss of modern country music to find an emotional sound rooted in folk and classic pop. Her latest album, The Well, departs significantly from its six-year-old predecessor; supported by an acoustic backbone, her new songs drift into retro territory, with occasional psychedelic guitar riffs and pop melodies that recall love ballads from the '60s. - NPR


"a beautiful wistful dialogue between two characters" - AOL Spinner


Claiming both Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott and Roy Orbison as influences—along with more obvious touchstones like Neko Case and Patti Griffin—Megan Reilly has the kind of pipes and grit that belie her singer-songwriter trappings. It's been six years since Reilly released her previous album, Let Your Ghost Go, but the forthcoming The Well (due out April 24) promises to be a strong follow-up based on the great "Sew The Threads Into Your Heart," which The A.V. Club is streaming exclusively below. A thoroughly beguiling folk-pop song, "Heart" builds to a climactic guitar solo that Lynott himself would be proud of. - The Onion/AV Club


Discography

The Well (April 24 2012) CD,LP Carrot Top Records
Let Your Ghost Go (2006) CD Carrot Top Records
Arc of Tessa (2004) Carrot Top Records

Photos

Bio


How in the world could we possibly have arrived here? Megan Reilly’s “To Seal My Love“ leaves the listener defenseless in its wake. An opening verse with plaintive voice and chiming guitar fit for a lullaby soon shifts gears into roaring, triumphant, anthemic majesty. Enveloping. Touching. Enlightening. Exuding from every musical crevice the overwhelming, radiant warmth of love, love that never before seemed likely or even possible to Megan or to listeners of her mysteriously alluring music. A song that was anything but inevitable.

Since our last ghostly encounter with the enigmatic Megan Reilly’s captivating music, she’s had a child, moved out of New York, learned to bake and quilt, and become fully domesticated. We fear that maybe she’s gone soft or forgotten how to write the songs that captured our hearts in the first place. Instead, during her recording sabbatical, Megan has been living her life to the fullest, experiencing the deepest pain and hurt that life can throw at us, but then, shockingly, for what feels like the first time in her life, she also has earned life’s greatest gift: love. “I was used to writing from a mournful place. Having a child and being in love filled me with such unfamiliar happiness that I didn’t know how to write about it. So I learned how to quilt. I made eight quilts in five years.“

In the musical interim, Foljahn departed and was replaced by a new elemental piece, virtuoso guitarist James Mastro (Health and Happiness Show, Patti Smith, Ian Hunter). Their bond was immediate, as if their musical talents were destined to augment each other. Megan finally began writing her third record. “I didn’t want any more time to pass without making music so I booked the studio time in advance when I had only four songs written. Then I would tell people, ’I’m making a record soon,’ thinking that if I said it enough it would happen. And it did. I wrote whenever I could, so now I know that method works.“

The resulting album, The Well, marks an enormous musical leap that mirrors the vast changes in Megan’s personal life since Ghost was written. The album title refers to the muse that lies deep within that propels the music. “Despite my fear that I had used up all my talent on my first two records and had nothing to offer, the best work I’ve ever done was lying dormant all along, waiting for me to pay attention.“

The Well is a giant leap by Megan Reilly, both musically and thematically. It is also a rich and carefully chosen metaphor. A Well can be a deep place of impenetrable darkness, fear, and mystery, a place that does not relinquish its visitors. In these depths, Megan again bravely faces off with the specter of existential darkness that haunts us all. Like her past few albums, Megan’s enveloping music, a cross between emotive Irish fatalism and Southern Gothic macabre, comfortably camps in these darkest of corners. “The Lady of Leitrim,“ filled with Lenny Kaye’s singularly ethereal riffs, haunts us long after The Lady disappears, and as an arrow punctures Megan’s heart, her little “Little Angel“ flies away before its time. But her surprising cover of Iris Dement’s plaintive “After You’re Gone“ portends new directions. Upon this song’s foundation of pain, Megan finds the strength to face Death, feel its deepest sting, yet hold the love for her departed that much closer.

Following her seemingly eternal dark night of the soul, no one is more surprised than Megan that, upon emerging, she has found that The Well is also a place of creativity and redemption. If you listen, quietly and patiently, The Well can be your muse, offering up blindingly beautiful gems like her obliquely enigmatic “To Seal My Love,“ again with Lenny Kaye’s indispensable shimmer. Maybe an old friend like John Wesley Harding receives his own visit and is handed an earworm of a duet, “Old Man and the Bird.“ Once discovered, the muse of “The Well“ can lead you out the darkness once and for all.