T. Hardy Morris (from the album Dude, The Obscure available on New West Records) by Bryan Liggett
The subtle, atmospheric snare drum heard on the cut “Be” that opens Dude, the Obscure, the latest from Athens Georgia based T. Hardy Morris reveals the musician is certainly moving into a more sophisticated direction in both lyric and melody, away from the grunge influenced Southern-rock sounds of his former band Dead Confederate, and even the rowdier tracks on his fantastic 2015 record Drowning on a Mountaintop. If in fact slowing things down is ‘sophisticated’. It’s an album loaded with lyrical questioning of self; ‘I trust you and not myself’ from “Cheating Life while Living Death” reveals an honest motif, heard also in “Homemade Bliss” and “The Night Everything Changed” that shows Morris may be offering a melancholic confession.
The cut “No Reason” with lines like ‘there’s a reason for fighting, and there’s a reason for retreat; there’s a reason for crying, but there’s no reason for me’ may come like a cry for help, but don’t let whatever admissions that may be happening in the narrator’s head drive the record. It’s a great album of psych-influenced folk made by someone who can make emotional music without the need to always rock-out, unique through Morris’, at times, dead-pan delivery and even greater use of laid back melody and instrumentation.
There’s obvious similarities to indie-rock contemporary Kurt Vile, and even someone like Neil Young. The aforementioned company, like Morris, know how to be as loud as they can when they want to, yet can still be both raw and soft when it comes to songwriting. (review by Bryan Liggett)
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