"Daughter + Bon Iver = Megan Bonnell" – Zimbio.com
"Can't Have You is like a sunbeam coming through the window shining down on my morning coffee" – CBC Radio 2
Toronto-based singer/songwriter Megan Bonnell released her sophomore album, Magnolia, on April 15, 2016 via MapleMusic Recordings. The record, which was produced once again by Chris Stringer (The Wooden Sky, Timber Timbre) and Joshua Van Tassel (David Myles, Gypsophilia), holds within it a very specific time in her life and features 11 new songs, including the first single, Can't Have You.
"Magnolia started to take shape back in 2013. I was touring my first album 'Hunt and Chase' and as I did, new songs started to arrive, and thank goodness for that. It was in the making of this record that I was able to make a certain kind of sense of the world around me. Love came and went, and then came again, and my family found itself blessed by the birth of my beautiful sister's first little girl. Things were changing. I wanted to move forward, but I didn't want time to diminish history's meaning." Megan continues, "It is in these songs that I captured what these moments have meant to me, and who we were together. All of us. Just the two of us. Me. Magnolia holds within it a chapter of my life. Reflections of times and places, of heartbreak and happiness."
Magnolia is dynamic, and emotionally endowed. Its songs are honest, and do not steer away from being raw and vulnerable. The album opener, Can't Have You carries traces of Bob Dylan romanticism. Like a handwritten love letter, it is a tender plea to let love go, "Lay me down if I can't have you, Let me go if there's nothing more that I can do."
Towards the album's end, waits sleeping giant, Dynamite. An ode to Bonnell and co-producers Stringer, and Van Tassels love for sonic spontaneity, the song opens with hauntingly lonely piano and vocal melodies, shimmering with sadness and recollection while the two instruments rise and descend, trying to find their way through the heartbreak. Suddenly, the song unpredictably unravels into a chaotic, chant-ridden, beat driven, synth-blazing, rock-out. You are in a completely different place than where the album began. Magnolia truly leaves no rug left unturned.
Bonnell released her debut album Hunt And Chase in October 2013 on Nevado Records. She has since been touring North America in support of the release while building her profile and drawing audiences with her soulful and captivating performances. More recently, Bonnell expanded her team by partnering with Arts & Crafts publishing. She has also toured Spain with John Grant (November 2013), opened for Passenger at BIME Live Festival (Bilbao, Spain) and performed at Barcelona Jazz Festival and The End Festival (London, UK) all in anticipation of the release of the album in UK/EU in 2014. After wrapping up a full North American tour supporting Justin Nozuka which took her on shows across the United States and Canada, Bonnell had a noteworthy summer playing a handful of festivals across North America such as Taste of Toronto, Field Trip Music Festival, and Gateway Festival.