Introducing....Meghan Linsey

Perhaps currently best known as one half of country duo Steel Magnolia, Meghan Linsey's first solo release (a cover of the One Republic track Counting Stars) was recently released digitally.

With a slower, more blues influenced version of the track than the upbeat rocky original, there are also frequent breakdowns of the instrumentalisation to allow a real focus on Meghan's vocals. The production is very strong and the blues/country feel from the background vocals and instruments (specifically the combination of the electric guitar and the banjo) works really well. The a capella start is also very effective and the introduction of the backing vocals and then the rest of the instrumentalisation (heralded by a short descending bass line) builds the beginning up nicely.

Meghan has also released a video to accompany the song. Whilst the video works against the song I would personally have rather have had the song complimented with a visual storyline and also the lighting appears too harsh at points. This is however a personal preference and I know there are many people who think the video is perfect.

The track was written by OneRepublic lead singer Ryan Tedder and Meghan delivers a heartfelt performance of his lyrics. Lyrics such as "lately I been, I been loosing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be" show the deeper meaning to the track and gives a sense of appeal to the lyrics that tells a good story.

Overall I would say that this is a great track that promises a lot for Meghan's original music. I've had it on repeat for a while now and would definitely recommend purchasing!

I was thrilled to be able to recently catch up with Meghan and ask her some questions....

Which song do you wish you had written and why?
"Landslide", because it's perfect. It tells a story and makes you feel every word, in a simple way. Plus, I love Stevie Nicks, a whole lot. 
Which artist would you like to collaborate with and why?
Macklemore. I love his message, he's so positive. It's nice to see someone so authentic, be so successful. And, I think it would be really cool to infuse country and hip hop. I could sing a hook.
You write a lot of songs, do you find it easy to do so?
If you're being honest, then I think song writing is easy. But, there are times when I'm less creative than others. 
Which was the hardest song to write?
Oooh, good question. They're all very personal, but "Broken" was probably, emotionally, the hardest one to write. I was writing about my break up as it was happening. Luckily, I got to write it with two of my dear friends, Julie Moriva and Dee Briggs. You need friends when you're going through hardships like that. It's just a bonus to have ones that are songwriters too. 
What music are you currently listening to?
I love the new Miley Cyrus record. I know she's getting a lot of attention for what she's wearing and twerking and all of that, but at the end of the day, I believe her when she sings and her music is REALLY good.
With you and Josh (Scott Jones) both releasing new solo music, are we going to get any new releases from Steel Magnolia?
If I'm being real honest, no, I don't think so. I just feel like that chapter has ended. It was an amazing ride and I'm really grateful for our success and the fans. But, we tried to make it work for a long time, and in the end,  it just didn't. Eventually, you have to know when it's time to let go. I just want to be happy and make music that I'm proud of and I feel like this solo record is a reflection of that. 
What is your favourite part about being a musician?
Being able to relate with people on another level. Sometimes communication with words, doesn't work. Especially, if you're trying to connect with someone with a developmental or mental disorder. Autistic children are dear to my heart. They love music so much and are so happy. I had a little girl, with autism, named Sara come up on stage with us a while back and it was the coolest thing. She was so moved by the music, singing all the words and dancing. I felt so connected to her. I love that music can do that. 
What is your least favourite part?
The early flights! Mostly the travel. Sometimes, I feel like I'm a professional traveller and getting to play music is just icing on the cake. 
What would you say to someone wanting to be a musician?
Stay real, but be open minded. It's a hard line to tread. 
What would you like to achieve in your career?
So many things. I probably can't even put it all into one answer. Ultimately I think the goal is to reach as many people as possible, in a positive way. To show them love and compassion. To be able to do something bigger than myself. I trust God that he'll use me in a big way and I'm open.
Any plans to come to the UK?
Definitely! I'm not sure when exactly. But, I have to make it back over there.  Josh and I recorded there with producer, Fraser T. Smith, about 4 or 5 years ago and that was an amazing experience. I had never been there and we were staying in a small town called Egham. We'd take the train into London to record and we slept above a pub. It was a magical time. 
Keep an eye out for original material from Meghan later this year!
Check out her website here
Counting Stars can be purchased here from UK iTunes