When Megan Washington entered the public spotlight at the end of last decade, a lot of fans gave her the credit she deserved. After a few years of collaborating with people, she decided to go out on her own and release a solo record. I’d heard her song ‘Clementine‘ on a TV commercial shortly after its release, and I tried hard to find more of her music. Of course, as was the way with Australian artists of that era, unless they were well-established, the Internet was completely unforgiving towards them.
When she finally released her debut solo record, I Believe You Liar, in 2010, much of the attention was given towards the album’s singles, such as ‘Rich Kids‘, ‘Sunday Best‘, and the previously-released ‘Cement‘. However, it was the record’s opening track that completely caught my attention.
To be fair, there really isn’t much to say about ‘1997’. It’s a finely constructed, catchy pop song that could honestly hold its own in comparison to the other singles from the record. Its slow-burning introduction is intriguing, and by the time the song’s chorus kicks off, the scene is set for the rest of the track, featuring Washington’s gorgeous vocals, and well-constructed lyrics.
After I had loved this record for quite some time, I also discovered Megan Washington’s 2014 TED Talk in which she revealed that she was a lifelong stutterer. Having also suffered from the same problem my whole life, albeit with less intensity than she suffers from, I gained a whole new level of respect for her as a musician. Knowing the difficulty that a problem such as this causes, it was quite refreshing to see a public figure acknowledge the existence of a problem such as this. While I never sought help in my case, it was enjoyable knowing that my own methods of dealing with it were in fact the same as hers, and it felt validating knowing that problem that I always felt would hold me back could be managed, with the possibility of success despite the condition. For that, I’ve held a great deal of respect for her as a person and as a musician.