When the frigid winter ends and the earth absorbs every last blanket of snow, infinite dust blooms from the prairies. If you walk down a twilit dirt road in the middle of nowhere, south central Saskatchewan, that dust creeps onto and into you, cementing your relationship with the endlessness of the place—endless skies, endless wind, endless dust. Megan Nash knows this feeling more intimately than most. Despite taking her music all over the world, her songs always retain some piece of the prairies. There’s the grit of dust in the crunch of an overdriven guitar; the howl of wind in a soaring, hypnotic eruption of horns. And there is a boundlessness in her voice—electric with timbres both luminous and dusky, coloured with the textures of her poetry—that can’t help but recall those spellbinding skies.
With her 2017 album Seeker, Nash used that voice to establish herself as an artist with a singular vision. Mining loss, heartache, grief, dreams, and desire over lush soundscapes, she revealed herself as the titular seeker—someone with a suitcase they never really empty, whose reach always exceeds their grasp. In the time since Seeker, Nash’s life has taken tumultuous turns. In her own words, the new music she’s been working on was written, “in the cracks of a foundation—in moments of reflection during years of whirlwind romance, gut wrenching heartbreak, reviving friendships, and life saving dog love.” They’re heavy, haunting, elegiac songs in which Nash has rendered herself more vulnerable than ever.
The first new music from Nash, “Artifact” is “a song about discovering fragments of your former life; a letter from a past lover, a photograph from a perfect day, and how that discovery can be a punch in the stomach,” she says. “It draws the comparison of your own world and your relationships with the environment and the climate crisis; reminding the listener of when something you love gets neglected, it can fall apart right in front of you. I wrote this song in an afternoon, shortly after I found myself to be the sole occupant of a little house in the middle of nowhere. A neighbour came over for coffee later that day and I played it for her. ‘That’s a break up song’ she said. My first glowing review. I love sad songs and how they can remind us that we aren’t alone in the painful experiences. If this song can remind someone of that, that pain is the sacrifice we all make for knowing love, then it’s done its job.”