STARS ALIGNED Meaghan Smith

The animator turned singer-songwriter had her
own
dreams.

 

BY JAMIE
GADETTE

 

Meaghan
Smith’s first name is pronounced Mee-gan, something to remember should you ever
chance upon the Canadian chanteuse. Stranger things have happened. In 2007, her
producer Les Cooper randomly bumped into DJ Kid Koala in an Austin bookstore
and handed him Smith’s demo-this after months of hot pursuit by Smith, who’d
pegged Koala as an ideal conduit for her dreamy vintage-meets-modern sound. The
collaboration might still have floundered had Koala’s wife picked another demo
to pop in their car stereo.

 

“So many
things that shouldn’t have happened worked out,” says Smith, an animator who
pursued music full time when her day job wore thin. “I got tired of making
other people’s dreams a reality.”

 

“Other
people” might also include a Halifax radio station that funded Smith’s 2004
debut, an album that all too conveniently fit the station’s format. “It didn’t
turn out like I’d hoped,” Smith says, so she pulled out all the stops and
recorded The Cricket’s Orchestra on
her own dime. “I didn’t think it would go anywhere. I made it as a gift to
myself.”

 

It just so
happened, though, that Smith got the mixes back two days before the Atlantic
Film Festival. And wouldn’t you know it, organizers wanted to use one of her
songs to open all the screenings. In exchange, Smith received a free pass to
the fest where she handed out demos to industry folk. “I really just wanted to
get someone else’s opinion,” she says.

 

Seemingly
endless months later, the venerable Sire label put out The Cricket’s Orchestra, followed
by the EP/DVD, The Cricket’s Quartet,
comprising four tracks plus videos with Smith’s animations. Quartet’s “I Know”
features Kid Koala scratching over a mellotron sample of 30s-era jazz
musicians. It’s a whimsical song emblematic of Smith’s sonic juxtapositions-new
and old; organic and electronic. She’s not simply recreating the past: “No
offense to Michael Buble. That’s just not what I do.”

 

Meanwhile,
Smith’s alt-roots were on display when her cover of the Pixies’ “Here Comes
Your Man” was featured on the soundtrack to the hit film (500) Days of Summer. She’s also become an avid Twitterer, tweeting
on near-daily basis. Will world domination follow? Stay tuned…

 

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