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Artist POV

Twilight Muse’s Meg Pollaro Contemplates Mother Love (And Loss)

Pollaro with Andrew Shapiro (Credit: XX)

My mother’s love of music had a profound impact on me. Her eclectic taste was my childhood soundtrack, from car rides to school to house cleaning and big cooking days. I can still hear the voices of Anita Baker, Michael Jackson, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan. As a young woman, my mother was the lead singer of her own band, The Wind and the Willows, but, as is often the case, once she started a family her dreams of being a singer-songwriter were put aside.

As most mothers will tell you, everything she did was for my brother and me. She was a successful saleswoman and a natural people person. Though she worked harder than anyone I know, she was always there to take me to dance class, coach my softball team, help me with my homework. She was a superhero, and she was my best friend.

To the outside world, she had it all. But as I got older, I began to notice the deep darkness she tried so desperately to hide. Keeping herself busy, always onto the next thing – and every now and again popping a pill for her chronic back pain or trouble sleeping – making sure to “stay ahead of the pain,” just as the doctors ordered.

On February 14, 2009, my mother suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. Just a few short weeks before, over dinner, she told me of her plans to leave her husband, my stepfather, and start her life over. I was so excited for her to finally have the life she deserved – free of pain and sadness, playing piano and singing, painting in the afternoons. But life had other plans. On that Valentine’s Day back in 2009, the mother I knew and loved so deeply died, and the woman who survived became another victim of the opioid crisis.

Naturally, this event and its implications rocked me. I decided to bury myself in my work and push everything else aside. When I first started in the music industry at a top events agency, women typically didn’t hold sales positions. They were often typecast, slotted in as planners or into operations roles. But, like her, I was a natural-born salesperson, and though many of my superiors tried to change that, I stayed the course and eventually moved on to CAA, Endeavor and now Superfly. Given the pressure and competition within the industry, I thought any aspirations I had of making music were out of reach – just as my mother’s were.

In what feels like a simple twist of fate, it was my professional career path that steered me back to music. Just a few short years ago, in a pitch meeting, the client and I bonded over our mutual love of music. The client invited me to an open jam session, which I accepted having zero expectations of what would come of it.

It was that very first jam session where I met Andrew Shapiro, which marked the beginning of our musical connection. With the world on hold due to the pandemic, Andrew and I found an unexpected silver lining—the creative spark that led us to write music together.

This time marked two significant beginnings—the birth of my daughter, and the genesis of our band, Twilight Muse. The very first song we wrote was “Oh Mama,” which is on our just-released debut album A Moment Out of Time. I had been conjuring the lyrics about my mother’s struggle with addiction for years, but finally worked up the courage to share them. The process of writing, recording, and performing this song has helped me grieve this profound loss in my life. It was as if something inside me had awakened and this time I knew I wasn’t going to push it aside.

Having a front-row seat to my mother’s downfall made me realize I don’t want to miss anything I love and inspired me to maximize my time on this planet. But there’s a distinction. I strive to be fully dedicated and present, depending on which love I’m interacting with at any given time—my family, my career, or creating music.

Meg Pollaro is a singer/songwriter and one-half of the New York City-based indie-rock duo Twilight Muse. The band has just released their debut album ‘A Moment Out Of Time’ and is gearing up to perform at The Mercury Lounge in NYC on Tuesday, July 11th. Eclectic in genre yet cohesive in vision, Twilight Muse writes alluring duets with diverse influences ranging from Americana to new wave to modern R&B. For more information visit