Meredith Lazowski — “The Other Side”
Americana Highways presents this premiere of Meredith Lazowski’s song “The Other Side” from her forthcoming album Other Way Home, which is due to be released on June 17. The song will be available on May 6.
Other Way Home was produced bu Justin Rutledge; engineered by Chris Stringer with assistant engineer Darren McGill at Union Sound in Toronto. It was mastered by Joao Carvalho at Joao Carvalho Mastering.
All songs, cover and and design are also courtesy of Meredith Lazowski.
“The Other Side” is Joshua Van Tassel on drums; Kelsey McNulty on piano, organ and Wurlitzer; Tom Juhas on electric guitar; Devon Henderson on bass; and Meredith Lazowski on vocals.
We chatted with Meredith Lazowski briefly. The premiere appears just beneath the interview.
Americana Highways: What was the inspiration behind this song? Did something in particular prompt you to write it?
Meredith Lazowski: This song is inspired by the unspoken words between two strangers. In many different shapes or forms, I think we all somehow experience moments like these. Sometimes it can be a non-romantic, friendly moment, or sometimes it can be a thrilling encounter. When you are suddenly not surrounded by people anymore due to a pandemic, you no longer take those moments for granted. At the start of the lockdown, I reflected on those moments and wondered if and when we would have the opportunity to have those unfacilitated, unspoken words with a stranger again.
AH: Tell us about the songwriting process for this song.
ML: I started exploring alternative tuning on the guitar, and I used this for the first time on this song. The initial guitar work was a happy accident that I stumbled upon. I started with the rhythm and the guitar work, and like most of my songs, just started to ad lib lyrics until I was happy with the structure. I often write very visually – most of my writing I tend to get inspiration from either visualizing a scenario, a photograph, or even a drawing/painting. While writing the lyrics, I was visualizing a scenario, specifically at a small bar/venue in Toronto that I would often go to, especially in my early 20s. In this case, it was augmented by the isolation during COVID; I was missing people, places, and those spontaneous moments of interpersonal discovery that were so very special to me in the urban scene.
AH: What kind of sound were you going for on this song? Did it end up sounding the way you’d imagined before it was recorded?
ML: I was definitely leaning towards a darker tone for this track. It was something I wanted to try more of and am excited to hopefully write more in this vein in the future. This tune turned out better than I hoped. I think it had a more rock-fueled vibe than I had initially expected, but when we started playing it like that in the studio, it was so exciting and just really came together naturally.
AH: What do you want its message to be to the people who hear it?
ML: Feel empowered to make your own moments. If you are not happy with the moment you are in, then it might be worth moving forward. Also, sometimes, unspoken words can say more than words themselves. Complementing the dark tone, my message in the lyrics was to suggest a feeling of power and decisiveness.
AH: How does this song fit in among the songs on your forthcoming album?
ML: This track stands out from the other tracks on the album. It definitely has more of a rock vibe to it, yet it still somehow blends in with the rest of the tracks. This was one of the last songs written for the album, one of my newer songs. I experimented a bit more here, and I am really excited to experiment more with this sound for future writing.
With dirty electric guitar tones in contrast to Meredith’s silky vocal tones, the result is sexy, clandestine and groovy all at once. She’s waiting right there on the other side — give her a sign. It’ll be a sordid affair.