SONG PREMIERE: Meredith Lazowski Finds Beauty in Vastness on Enchanting Americana Tune “Prairie”

Photo credit: Jen Squires

We all have had our journeys. Roads we have taken and places left behind; people we have met, loved and lost, and landscapes we have explored and others of which we dream. “We are wayfaring strangers traveling through this world below… in that bright land to which I go… I’m just going over home.” (“The Wayfaring Stranger,” Roud 3339). The journey begins with the release of Meredith Lazowski’s debut album, Other Way Home (due out June 17th). This is her personal journey, yet it seamlessly becomes universal. 

With Other Way Home, Meredith enters the music scene, blending strong vocals with alluring lyrics and a unique voice for our times. Other Way Home presents a collection of 10 distinctive songs, each beckoning like a siren tempting us to take risks and face our undying desires. It offers an exciting array of soundscapes mirrored to the landscapes of life – from the vast spaces of the prairie, to the haze of the urban bar, and to the solitude of a cemetery. 

In this monumental debut album, Meredith combines the genres of alternative-folk and country. Other Way Home captures the significant emotional and physical spaces in our lives, imbued with poignant truths and self-awareness. This collection of songs invites the listener to join this lyrical adventure and to examine those same moments in time and place in their own lives. Meredith has created a sort of aural wayfaring map for us to enjoy.

Today Glide is premiering “Prairie,” a stirring listening experience that transports you to the vast expanses of its namesake landscape. Brimming with pedal steel guitar and a moody drum beat, the song reflects Meredith’s multiple family visits to her grandmother’s homestead in northern Saskatchewan and how the landscape calls us back. This transpires in a song that marries Americana and folk music with Meredith’s enchanting vocals and sparse yet textured instrumentation to create a moody that truly reflects the lyrics.

Listen to the track and read out interview with Meredith Lazowski below…

What prompted you to write this song? What was the inspiration behind it?

This song was inspired by numerous journeys to my extended family’s farms in northern Saskatchewan where I discovered a vibrant, rural community life filled with generosity and hospitality. Captivating were the endless blue skies and undulating horizons blanketing the vast, open prairie landscape of fields of hay and golden canola. Inescapably, I experienced the unique sensation of space and stillness. I was always comforted when I returned home to know that the winds I felt in Toronto originated from the west, as if they were beckoning me back. I discovered a new sense of family and community there, and the beauty of small-town living where everyone knew each other and helped each other. This song captures those memories and feelings through its lyrics, melody and tempo.

How did this song come together when you wrote it? What was the songwriting process like?

I believe “Prairie” was the second song I ever wrote; it was around 15 years ago after one of our family visits to northern Saskatchewan. I was sitting in my parents’ living room thinking of ways to commemorate and remember my prairie summer experiences. I was trying to capture my strong emotional relationship with the prairie landscape in both my lyrics and my melody. As a visual artist, I sketched these landscapes and searched my photographs for inspiration. The process was organic. It started with the rhythm and the instrumentals, followed by the lyrics. Emphasized are the repetitive, sonorous instrumentals emulating the prairie landscape and the westerly winds.

When you recorded this song, what kind of vibe were you going for? Did it end up sounding like you expected it to or did it come out different from what you thought it would be?

This song is special for me since it was one of my first compositions. I wanted to maintain a type of “rawness” and authenticity to my original demos featuring my voice and my guitar. The song now has a fuller, country “vibe” with the overlay of the steel guitar. The repetitive, yet gentle, rhythm of the song has been accentuated by the soft drumming, creating a tumbleweed effect, just like the western wind. The song has a new sense of power in its additional rich dreamy tones. The production of this song was superb, maintaining the integrity of the original composition and capturing the splendor of the prairies. I could not be happier with the result.

What do you hope listeners get from the song?

My wish is for listeners to close their eyes and enter a type of meditative mindset while listening to this song. Each of us has a special landscape or place that provides solace and beauty. For me, the prairies became this, where I discovered beauty in vast space and endless blue skies. The song is a type of meditation on landscape and its power in our lives.

Who are your biggest influences, musically speaking?

Gillian Welch, Neko Case, and Mavis Staples. These three female songwriters and performers have been ones that I have listened to and have seen in performances since I was in my teens. They were some of the key influencers to my sounds and to my songwriting styles.

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