(Photo Credit - Gina Gammell)
Album Review - Morly: 'Til I Start Speaking (August 20, 2021)
Existential Crisis or Existential Dread is when someone questions their worth and existence: does life and/or the things we do as humans matter? Sometimes it is attributed to depression and anxiety, but some see it as a burden of deep thinkers. Yes. This is my opening paragraph, yet what does it mean, and does that even matter?
I listen to a lot of music. Some pass through once, while others play on loop. What I like and do not like does not always play a factor. Yes, I love Phish, Radiohead, and LCD Soundsystem, so I choose to listen to them repeatedly, sometimes in various forms. Yet, I also listen to music over and over to study and understand it.
The first time I listened to Morly’s ‘Til I Start Speaking, I thought, This is so slow and quiet. Too much. Don’t get me wrong. I do not fear slow and quiet. I love it in short fiction. Less is better, especially in a world where loud gets attention. However, I was not in the mood for it. Or better yet, the album’s moodiness affected me in a way I wasn’t looking for. I’m moody enough on my own. But that’s not fair. I write reviews that look for the strengths of the album.
I stepped away and wrote about Villagers’ Fever Dreams and a Phish Concert. However, I kept going back and listening.
I never thought bad of the Morly album. As I wrote, it affected my mood, and I did not want to go there. Where? Amidst Existential Dread. Questioning. Reflecting and failing.
The problem with terms is that the closer they are to being exact, the more weight they carry. Using a phrase like Existential Crisis to describe an album is loaded. It signifies a higher level of education and pretension. Instead of a rough day, depression, or introspection, Existential Dread is the equivalent of using prostrated instead of tired. Again, I must state that I am being objective. Neither good nor bad. I am not choosing sides.
I would see Morly in a nightclub. A jazz band behind her. It’s quiet, and patrons drink overpriced wine, martinis, and scotch. “Savior Mind Tattoo” is a highlight of the show. However, “Dance To You” and “‘Til I Start Speaking (I & II)” hit home for me. Looking as beautiful as ever in her dark blue evening gown, my wife loves “Sleeping In My Own Bed.”
On our drive home, I tell my wife that Morly is exceptionally talented. “And within a lifelong catalog of her music, ‘Til I Start Speaking will a hidden gem.” Good things are to come whether she stays indie or goes mainstream. It will be interesting to see where her career leads her.
Final Thoughts: I did not write to the music as much as the atmosphere it creates. Therefore, I will say it is clean, professional, and impressive. I get hints of gospel, new age, and jazz. Her voice is beautiful, and she will have a full career.
Favorite Songs: “Dance To You,” “Jazz Angel,” and “Savior Mind Tattoo.”
Rating - 4/5