By Tim W. Jackson
As a musician with a couple albums to her credit, Meghan (pronounced MEE-gun) Hayes and her husband moved to Nashville to chase the dream, but she changed directions, went to grad school, and became a nurse practitioner instead. After a hiatus away from music, Hayes found herself writing songs again. Ultimately, the result is a beautiful and emotional album, rich with imagery and storytelling, and complete with top-notch musicianship. Seen Enough Leavers will be released May 31 and available in all the places you buy or stream music.
The album, however, represents a major personal shift for Hayes. Not only did she go back into music after several years away but her marriage of 20 years also dissolved. Like Pegasus, Hayes finds herself rising from the ashes to soar on Seen Enough Leavers.
In “The Story of My Life,” Hayes laments:
Let me introduce you as the tailor of my dreams
Which are so thin when they begin, but soon strain at the seems
When all the world’s looseness is bound up tight
That’s the story of my life
“Some of the album was already written and I had been preparing to try to get it recorded for quite a while, and then quite unexpectedly my husband walked out on me,” Hayes says. “A kind of a light went on, I wrote a lot more songs, and within a month of him walking out I was tracking this album.”
Hayes says that focusing on the album provided a reason for her to get up in the mornings. Writing songs was the catharsis for the heartbreak, despair, and confusion that were roiling in her mind.
“I don’t really know how it all happened, like that’s how stunning it was to me,” she continues. “I just kind of felt like there was a voice in my head that said, ‘You need to make this record now.’ Thank goodness. I mean, I just have such amazing people who came to participate in it—people who kind of showed up in my life, and it’s been cathartic and really kind of the life raft.”
The album offers 10 songs and nearly 40 minutes of solid Americana music, with the title track, “Seen Enough Leavers,” showing up in the third slot on the record.
There is steel in his eye
That says I oughta pack
But I’ve seen enough leavers to know
He won’t be back
Somethings are just true
Like I stayed too long with you
The anguish on the record is often palpable, which makes it a perfect listen when you want to embrace your own sorrows and struggles. At the same time Hayes’ delightful voice and the wonderful instrumentation make it equally apropos as background music. And while the themes might not stray far from melancholy, the songs themselves vary from the uneasy crying of the steel guitar in “Georgette” to the upbeat, boppy “This Summer’s Sleeper.”
Overall, Meghan Hayes proves with Seen Enough Leavers that she’s an Americana artist ready to be recognized throughout the industry and to music fans alike.