Students Focus Creative Efforts on Latest Album and the Arts

June 23, 2017 at 11:20 am

Meg & Co., a quartet of students from the University of South Carolina Upstate, has just dropped an LP of original songs and covers with influences from David Bowie to Stevie Wonder.

The recently released “The Spider Room” is available as a download from bandcamp.com on a “name-your-price” basis. A four-woman band, Meg & Co. features Meg Swinney, a Washington, D.C., native and USC Upstate senior, along with USC Upstate students Chelesea Boone, Noelle Taylor, and Kaylan Pinckney, all of whom are from the Charleston area.

Swinney said she produced the album in a home studio, in addition to writing or co-writing the music and lyrics for the original songs. She described the band’s sound as pop, with jazz, soul and electronic influences.

“The Spider Room” draws heavily from Swinney’s own experiences, she said.

“I usually write the music first, so the lyrics come late in the game – usually,” she said. “The music is a pure expression of my own emotions. The lyrics on this album are more about my relationships with other people: my friendships; my relationship; my past relationships.

As for the musical influence, Swinney said it includes “a lot of old, ’70s and ’80s pop, soul music, Stevie Wonder, Prince; electronic music like Peter Gabriel, David Bowie.”

Swinney said that although she started taking piano lessons when she was 6 and began singing lessons shortly thereafter, she has been writing and recording songs and “showing them to people” for only about a year.

“The Spider Room” isn’t the only creative work in Swinney’s life at the moment. She described Meg & Co. as an artists’ collective comprising visual artists as well as musicians. The website MegCollective.com is the online repository for the works by Meg & Co. members, Swinney explained.

“Aside from getting people to listen to the album, I want to help other artists get more exposure,” she said. “It’s partly about me, but it should be about everyone else, too; about getting exposure for artists.”

Meg & Co. has big plans, including releasing 10 vinyl albums and shooting a music video, which should be out around winter break, Swinney said. In addition, Meg & Co. produces an e-zine, “Meg & Co Zine,” to showcase the collective’s members’ visual arts.