Meghan Yates & The Reverie Machine: The Brightest Night

It’s almost impossible to categorize Meghan Yates & The Reverie Machine, as their sophomore album, The Brightest Night, seems to transcend genre.

Meghan Yates’ solo career got its start in 2002 in Portland, Maine. She was walking down the street, humming, when the owner of a local club ran out, grabbed her by the arm, and asked her to sing right then and there. Although she was unprepared, Yates sang an a’capella song she had finished writing earlier in the day. About a month later she performed a 30-minute set of acapella songs, and picked up the guitar soon after.

Yates recorded a few solo albums before meeting her husband and bassist, Mordechai Rosenblatt. Together they formed The Reverie Machine in 2009 and released their debut album, Not By Blood in 2012. They have collaborated with many different musicians in order to produce the unique and full sound they do. Along with Yates and Rosenblatt, The Brightest Night features Elliot Heeschen on drums and percussion; Peter Himmer on vibraphone, piano, organ and synth; Thomas Deakin on alto sax; Seth Mullendore on baritone sax; Sarah Hallie Richardson: backing vocals; and Nathaniel Johnson on synth.

To say Meghan Yates has a beautiful voice would be an understatement. It’s too powerful to just simply be beautiful. There’s a depth and darkness in her voice that is so unique. Layer that on top of jazz-infected bass, percussion, and sax and you’re in for an experience that is a bit chaotic and psychedelic at times (in the absolute best way), but also incredibly deep and soulful.

The Brightest Night is a diverse and all-encompassing album, from the up-tempo jazz feel “Waking Dreams” to the soft but driving build up to a powerful climax of sound in “Everyone Deserves Love.” It’s music for the senses. It’s big, in the macro sense that it’s about the spectrum of humanity and what it means to exist. At the same time, it’s incredibly personal in its ability to speak to individuals and force them to look inside themselves. As Sam Pfeifle said in his review of their first album, “… This is music taken straight from your very marrow …”


-Taylor Sutton

Published in the December 2015 issue of What’s Up! Magazine