Until now, Megan Siebe has been best known as a collaborator. From her home in Omaha, Nebraska, the multi-instrumentalist has lent her talents to projects from Cursive, David Nance, and Simon Joyner. As a cellist, Siebe’s string arrangements have added orchestral flourishes to recordings by Refrigerator, the late Justin Townes Earle, and many others.
Taking advantage of a break from this busy schedule, she is now set to deliver her debut solo album to listeners outside of the Cornhusker State. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting title than Swaying Steady for this collection of plaintive songs, swinging to and fro with the graceful poise of classic country while maintaining an intimate homespun quality.
“Whispers” stands out from the rest of the album with its sparse arrangement of Siebe’s unadorned voice and ornate strings. Like a less harrowing version of The Mountain Goats’ “Dilaudid”, she flashes back to her childhood and evokes formative memories that have made her the person she is today. The video begins with Siebe’s beaming smile as she shares a collection of precious items refracted through kaleidoscopic effects until they become otherworldly.
“When I was young, I shared a bedroom with my older sister,” Siebe writes in an emailed statement to Ears to Feed. “Most nights, she’d help me fall asleep by tracing each of my fingers with hers. Everything was shared those days. Ideas. Feelings. All free of judgement. So many things change as you get older and that’s what ‘Whispers’ is about. I wanted a song with nothing but strings and vocals to truly represent myself and who I had become.”