“Monsters,” a new song by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, is about the villains in our lives, the spoilers who bring pain and discontent.
“Think what your life would be missing / If you didn’t have him to sing about,” she sings.
“We need to have hard things to rub up against,” McLachlan says. “We need that friction in our lives, that tough stuff. That’s how you figure out what you’re made of. You don’t like it because it’s hard and it hurts, but it also makes life interesting. The song is about the people we love to hate.”
In a recent phone interview from her sunny backyard in Vancouver, B.C., the Grammy-winning musician was cheerful and good-humored and not thinking so much about unpleasant people.
“It’s a glorious day,” she said.
McLachlan’s summer tour, which includes sold-out shows Friday and Saturday at Chateau Ste. Michelle, features “Monsters” and other songs from “Shine On,” a typically introspective, deeply personal new album on jazz label Verve Records.
“In Your Shoes” is an inspirational cut about teenage Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in 2012.
“I just think she’s an incredible human being,” said McLachlan. “Every once in a while these individuals come along who just rise up and are so powerful in terms of what they believe in and what they achieve.”
Another track, “Song of My Father,” is much more personal. It’s a tribute to her adoptive father, Jack McLachlan, who died nearly four years ago. He was always supportive and inspirational.
“He was a constant in my life, and I always knew I could count on him no matter what,” she said.
McLachlan often gets asked about Lilith Fair, the touring women’s music festival she led in the late 1990s. A 2010 relaunch flopped when several dates were canceled and performers backed out. McLachlan hasn’t ruled out doing another Lilith Fair, but only as a destination festival.
“Lilith was incredibly special for me,” she said. “And the fact that it didn’t succeed and was actually quite a failure was a real drag,” she said.
“But that’s OK, live and learn. I think there’s a possibility of doing something like that at some point, but I would do some serious, serious research before I did it.”
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville; sold out (425-488-1133 or ste-michelle.com)
Gene Stout: firstname.lastname@example.org