Saskatchewan artist Megan Nash releases her sophomore album, Soft Focus Futures, via Acronym Records. Essentially an examination of the death of her marriage, and self, the album is akin to a sonic version of author Elizabeth Smart’s novel, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.
Megan is non-binary, as well as a Scorpio, and is comfortable with she and they pronouns. Nominated for many awards, such as the 2019 JUNO Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, and Best Musical Artist by 2021’s Best of Moose Jaw Award, they have played internationally – the U.S., the UK, Germany, Estonia.
Featured musicians include the Best of Intentions, made up of Dana Rempel, Darnell Stewart, and Tanner Wilhelm Hale, along with contributions from Brady Frank, Dalton Lam, Digawolf, Stacy Tinant, Jenna Nash, and Logan Amon.
Comprising 10-tracks, entry points include “Table For One,” the album’s opening song, which sets the stage for love and loss. A gentle acoustic guitar topped by Megan’s revealing voice delivers a heartbreaking tale of matrimonial collapse.
For some reason, “Artifact” suggests hints of Alanis Morissette, pushing out visceral guitars riding a mid-tempo rhythm. Shadowy and intense, the tune is stark and eloquent. A personal favorite, “Quiet,” rolls out on a driving rhythm as Megan’s lush, evocative tones entice listeners in with low, velvety timbres. The harmonic flow, layered with polished, thrumming colors, is both haunting and wistful.
“Coffee,” with its tinctures of blues flavors and soft rock, allows Megan to parade her melodic yet passionate voice. “Chew Quietly / Clean Slate” offers trembling guitars and a delicious rhythmic pulse as Megan’s voice evokes profound emotions on creamy textures. Tints of alt-country give “Clean Slate” shimmering layers of coloration.
“Are We Still in Love?” travels on platinum guitars, while Megan’s deluxe voice poses the comprehensive question: are we still in love? Plush horns imbue the tune with smoldering hues, adding to the yearning nature of the question.
Soft Focus Futures is wonderfully wrought, pulling the leftover threads of a former relationship to discover what unwinds. In the end, Megan Nash’s superb voice conveys the tale with palpable sentiments.