Premiere: Megan Diana’s Heated “Cabin Fever” Is a Visceral Wash of Isolation & Introspection

Megan Diana © Ryan Maher
Megan Diana © Ryan Maher
A wash of warm music and visceral energy, Megan Diana’s “Cabin Fever” is an intimate outpouring of wandering and wondering, isolation and introspection.
for fans of Becca Mancari, Kate Bollinger, Lomelda
Stream: “Cabin Fever” – Megan Diana
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The world was shut down, I was in the middle of a forest, and on the second day of the residency a foot of snow had blanketed the cabin and the lodge. If I wasn’t secluded and sequestered before, I was now.

Isolation and solitude have become all too familiar acquaintances, if not friends, to many of us thanks to COVID-19. Where once we might have had to work hard for a day, week, or month disconnected from friends and family, disconnection is now the norm – an inert status from which we must actively work (hard) in order to feel the closeness, camaraderie, and kinship we once took for granted.

Yet Megan Diana’s new single is so much more than a lockdown song – mainly because, as she tells it, the song would likely have come about with or without this pandemic. A wash of warm music and visceral energy, “Cabin Fever” is an intimate outpouring of wandering and wondering, isolation and introspection. Catchy and immersive, it’s a gorgeous soundtrack bringing light and hope to our personal and pandemic-driven seclusion.

Cabin Fever - Megan Diana
Cabin Fever – Megan Diana
tree tops, moon beams
snow peak, i’m laying
on the dock and let the clouds speak to me
gold sun, summer teaser
now i think i got that cabin fever
it’s got me thinking just a little deeper
oh, but do we really care
more than we did before
oh, i wanna know more
than i did before
oh, do we really fxck more
than we did before
oh, i wanna love
more than i did before

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Cabin Fever,” the stirring (or stir-crazy) new single from Portland singer/songwriter and French horn player Megan Diana. Following her sophomore album Seaside’s February release and May’s entrancing single “Water Baby,” “Cabin Fever” arrives as the heated official lead single off Diana’s forthcoming third album, also titled Cabin Fever (release date TBA).

A deep breathe of dulcet, ambient tones and subdued inner anguish, “Cabin Fever” is a compelling immersion full of intimacy and passion. The song highlights Diana’s delicate vocals and finessed French Horn playing alongside seductive keyboard work, raw guitar, and pedal steel; it’s an aural, harmony-rich banquet to behold, ready for listeners to sink into as we let go of the reins and just be for a minute or two.

love, love, love it deeper, love is deeper…

Megan Diana © Ryan Maher
Megan Diana © Ryan Maher

“When the world started shutting down last March, I had already been accepted into an Artists Residency program at Suttle Lake Lodge- a series of cabins and a historic lodge nestled in the Deschutes National Forest outside the little eastern Oregon Town of Sisters, Oregon,” Megan Diana recalls. “Luckily the residency still was a go when I left my home in Portland and drove a couple of hours east to magic cabin #8, the one room wooden structure that was going to be my home for the next several weeks. This was the first time I was EVER going to be in a situation where all I had to do was work on music and become fully immersed in creating, arranging, and getting my french horn out for weeks at a time.”

“I went to the cabin with a notebook full of ideas, and songs that were in various states of completion. What turned into Cabin Fever was the very least formed of any of those ideas. I had chord progression and a drum loop. Thanks Looperman! In a spirit of writing in the COMPLETE OPPOSITE WAY of how I usually write music, I decided to make a full demo of the song without words- let the music and percussion fully complete themselves before I got into writing words (usually the most dreaded and scary part of songwriting). The world was shut down, I was in the middle of a forest, and on the second day of the residency a foot of snow had blanketed the cabin and the lodge. If I wasn’t secluded and sequestered before, I was now. Isolation and this pandemic were still quite new. And yet I was in one of the most beautiful spots I know of and I was getting to do the thing that I love the most; write songs, create music, make something OUT OF NOTHING. A song and an expression that wasn’t there before was now a story or a feeling I was getting out with my hands and my voice.”

This isn’t just a song for quarantine or lockdown times; it’s a song for all those moments we feel trapped or inherently stuck, unable to roam the world the way we’re used to doing. It’s a wintry indulgence full of heated emotion; a song of escape and experience that, in itself, offers a special kind of solace and refuge.

Megan Diana © Ryan Maher
Megan Diana © Ryan Maher

“The words for Cabin Fever came together all in an afternoon,” Diana explains. “I looked out of the cabin and thought of how ancient the lake and the forest was that I was looking at. I walked out on the dock of the lodge and spent time trying to pick out shapes in the clouds. I thought of what was happening in the world, where folks were, what I should be trying to learn from this experience- the one of being an artist in a cabin creating, and the one of being a human on planet Earth trying to grasp what is my purpose and how best can I serve it. I made the full demo for the song in a day! I brought out my french horn, my other love, the instrument that I’m trying to bring into VOGUE and ’cause WHY NOT?! It sits in a RED VELVET CASE, Y’ALL! When I came back to Portland to start truly recording the song in full, I had found myself in the unique position of my friend, neighbor, and pedal steel player had decided, “let’s be in each other’s quarantine family.” And let’s start recording for fun in the basement. Because how else are we gonna keep our sanity? And that where Raymond Richards came in. He’s a pedal steel magic maker, but also producer behind albums from Local Natives, Blitzentrapper, Parson Redheads, and many more. He gave the tune its pedal steel moments and forced me to play some Farfisa on this track. (Which I now contend is part of my favorite moments.)”

soft cloud, light beaming
i get a present from the greatness
i think i heard that there’s a spirit speaking
slow world, old teacher
i think i got a bit of cabin fever
it’s got me thinking just a little deeper

She adds, “The photo of me is taken in his basement in and amongst what I call Keyboard Island – the family of vintage synths that he happens to have in his North Portland basement and what we are using to record much of the full upcoming album that will also be called Cabin Fever. We’ve got it, but in the best way possible – I can make all the magic I can with one friend and the right equipment in his basement, plus all the right sequined dresses thrifted and picked up on tour.”

Megan Diana © 2020
Megan Diana © 2020

There’s something truly remarkable about the magic Megan Diana has made this time around:

For while “Cabin Fever” speaks to moments we are sure to have throughout our lives, it captures through vivid sound and sensation a feeling the global community continues to share to this day. Life is not normal here in October 2020, and a song like “Cabin Fever” expresses through music what we continually experience, think about, and feel here at home – whether we’re literally stuck inside, or still unable to see our loved ones. Thus while it may be an unintentional quarantine song, “Cabin Fever” meets and surpasses the moment’s expectations as a soundtrack to solitude, stress, and seclusion.

Stream Megan Diana’s beautiful new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

love love love love love love
should i sing about the world turning
should i sing about the world burning
or maybe i should plant a little garden
i heard that haley singing something bout it
love is deeper, love it deeper, love is deeper…

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Stream: “Cabin Fever” – Megan Diana
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Cabin Fever - Megan Diana

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