It’s been a while, Angie McMahon.
The acclaimed Melbourne singer-songwriter has made her welcome return today with “Saturn Returning”. Her first new single in three years offers two fascinating perspectives: it’s a reminder about the importance of self-compassion and letting go, while it’s also about the beauty and magic of nature’s cycles.
If you’re going to come back in style after a three-year absence, you may as well do it with your eyes turned to the sky, embracing existence through cinematic grandeur.
McMahon’s remains as stirring as ever, imbuing lyrics like “I’m gonna love every inch of this body / The limbs that are writing each day of this story,” with fragile power.
A Saturn Return happens roughly every 29.5 years, and signals the time a person leaves their youth behind and enters adulthood. It forces seismic personal growth and induces major life changes; a momentous moment, in other words.
“Your Saturn Return is like a teacher, and this song is a conversation with myself through a time of significant endings and beginnings, where compassion and hope have been the best antidote to my own mental health struggles,” McMahon explains. “The biggest lesson I’ve had in this chapter of my life is the value of a gentle and loving relationship with myself, no matter what.
“When I went for a walk and listened to it I started crying, feeling like a choir of hopeful voices could see me struggling and they had my back. I realised I’d been writing the song I needed to hear.”
You can watch the accompanying music video below, which is co-directed by McMahon and Bridgette Winten (Maple Glider).
McMahon wrote her comeback single in New York during a particularly challenging time, with the song growing out of a prompt given to her in a songwriting group that also contained Mimi Gilbert, Ruby Gill and Hannah Cameron. “Saturn Returning” was then brought to life in North Carolina, with additional instrumentation by Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver), Phil Cook (Bon Iver) and Leif Vollebekk enhancing its charm.
Angie McMahon’s “Saturn Returning” is out now via AWAL.