Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Reilly, at twenty-three, moved to New York City. Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth was among Reilly’s early fans.
Megan’s first full-length release for Carrot Top Records, Arc of Tessa, garnered immediate praise. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette declared “to one day be remembered as the unheralded gem of alternative-country 2003, a haunting collection of aching ballads.”
In 2006, Megan teamed with producer Sue Garner for her second album, Let Your Ghost Go. Ghost garnered even more praise than Arc, and significantly raised her profile. Harp’s Brian Baker opined, “Reilly and her crack band give beauty and pain a palpable sonic presence…Another triumph.”
Now married, Megan Reilly had a child, moved to Philadelphia, back to New Jersey, learned to sew and bake, and became fully domesticated.
Megan finally began writing her third record. “I didn’t want any more time to pass without making music so I booked the studio time in advance when I had only four songs written. Then I would tell people, ‘I’m making a record soon,’ thinking that if I said it enough it would happen. And it did.” The resulting album, The Well, marks an enormous musical leap that mirrors the vast changes in Megan’s personal life since Ghost was written.
The album title refers to the muse that lies deep within that propels the music. “Despite my fear that I had used up all my talent on my first two records and had nothing to offer, the best work I’ve ever done was lying dormant all along, waiting for me to pay attention.”
The Well is vast and deep, running from Memphis to New York. It’s haunting and lovely. It’s a breakout work.