Day 7: Two Pals Collaborate on a Trip to South America

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LazZzy Eyes is a collaboration between RPM stalwart Meg “Scrambled Megz” Harnum, and Pepa Chan (of  the new city favourite, Ribbon Tied). And like any good collaboration, it draws out new sounds from each artist, yielding something, presumably, neither would have achieved alone. It’s a sincere and original batch of songs bound to get stuck in your head. 

“I was planning on visiting my family back home in Argentina and Uruguay this past January” Chan says, “and Meg asked if she could come with me. I thought she wasn’t serious at first, but she turned out to be!”

Chan says she’s been a fan of Meg’s music for a while now, and asked her if she wanted to write some music together on their trip. In addition to playing drums in bands like Hard Ticket and Punch Table, Meg is well known for her strikingly original solo work, under the moniker Scrambled Megz.

“I’ve always loved her music,” Chan says. “We came up with the idea of recording the RPM together while we were there. It was all pretty spontaneous, most of the songs were written in Uruguay, with a classical guitar that I borrowed from a friend, and Meg’s baritone ukulele.”

The duo went on to invite eight friends to play on the album: Joe Tucker, Christian Gagnon, Nicole Squires, Wyatt Shibley, Andrea McGuire, Megan Mcglaughlin, Noah Bender and Thom Coombes; an experience Chan loved. “It was great to play and record with our pals. They’re so amazing!”

While Megan has barely missed a year of RPM-ing, this was Chan’s first RPM. “We wrote most of the songs in Uruguay (it was summer there) and recorded them in St. John’s, in the dead of winter. I’m not sure if the weather had an effect on the songs, but it definitely had an effect on us!”

They recorded the song above (“try to get by”) in half hour, in Meg’s room, with just the onmichord and the guitar. “Meg hit the guitar’s case to do the percussion … it was so fun! This song is about how we can be our own biggest enemies sometimes, fabricating negative thoughts in our heads, and discovering we’re better off just sharing our feelings with a friend.”

Many of the songs carry very personal meaning for Chan. “Memories of past times, friendship, deep realizations, and feminism. ‘half second hug’ is a protest song, about the difficulty of growing up in a world haunted by violence, indifference, and hypocrisy. ‘i know,’ the first track, talks about love, about getting to know someone’s unique gestures, those special things that make them who they are.”

Chan and Harnum have voices as stirring as a Joanna Newson, Sydney Hermant, or Julia Stone, and use them to great effect with stacked vocal tracks and effective, affecting harmonies. The vocal dynamics and interplay inject the music with a balm for the modern attention span by keep every minute of the music fresh and popping. The music itself is paradoxically simple but innovative in how it feels full and unique while sticking to a stripped down and simple aesthetic.

About Author

Chad Pelley

Chad Pelley is an author, songwriter, and journalist who wrote for publications like the Globe & Mail and The Telegraph-Journal before founding The Overcast. Now he spends 25 hours a day keeping up with his email, and has no time to be his former self.

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