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Estimated release date: April 12, 2024
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Available: February 23, 2024
The Rochdale-born singer-songwriter Morgan Harper-Jones is in the middle of a moment. Her music featured prominently in Netflix’s recent international #1 smash ‘Love At First Sight’, in the process catapulting Morgan into Shazam’s global Top 10 as well as seeing exponential growth across streaming and socials. Now it’s time to discover more about Morgan as an artist she announces the February 23rd release of her debut album Up To The Glass and shares its lead single ‘Boombox’.
Up To The Glass is a delicate exploration of finding yourself in your twenties against a backdrop of love, self-acceptance and loss. Documenting those universally defining moments of young adulthood through the prism of Morgan’s own perspective, it explores deeply personal themes such as the passing of her grandparents, anxiously over-thinking every minor mistake, and yearning for a love that’s destined to remain unrequited. Morgan eventually found solace to those struggles through both therapy and the cathartic release of expressing herself through song. She’s an old soul with a significant appeal to her generation, her confessional dream-pop evoking influences which range from Maggie Rogers and Harry Styles, to Aldous Harding and St. Vincent, and back to Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon.
Morgan says, “The full spectrum of human emotion is here, and I hope listeners will recognise themselves and find comfort in these songs in some way. I feel like I’ve finally accepted that it’s okay to feel however I want to feel without apologising for that, as long as I try my best and don’t behave like an arsehole I’m all good, and this album is a record of getting to this place.”
If you’re new to Morgan’s world, the lead single ‘Boombox’ makes for a particularly compelling introduction. In a rush of Kacey Musgraves-esque pop melodies, her voice is both vulnerable and defiant as she implores a love interest to “let me in or let me go.” It’s a song which started as a sombre empty threat, but one that braves rejection, celebrates youth and commits wholeheartedly to discovering what the future holds.
She adds, “‘Boombox’ is an ultimatum. I was terrified of giving ultimatums because I thought that if I was honest and told someone what I needed they might say ‘No I can’t give you that’ and there’d be no going back. So I found myself in situationships a lot, trying to prove my worth and patiently waiting for them to notice me and choose me. But eventually you realise that life is too short to wait for someone like that.”
The album’s intimacy comes from a streamlined approach to her creative process. Whereas her previous two EPs featured a wealth of collaborators, the majority of this record was initially written on acoustic guitar in her bedroom before being developed with Iain Archer. It’s an approach which heightened the personal touch that will make these songs speak to countless other people: a comforting “you’re not alone” in musical form. It’s a feeling that’s prevalent whether she’s addressing a glorious relationship that ultimately can’t last (‘Forever For Now’), exploring her regrets with wry humour (‘Main Character’, recently played by Mollie King on Radio 1) or delving deep into the devastation of grief (‘Lose A Tooth’). The result is a record that will surely elevate Morgan to the next level of an immensely promising career.
Morgan was raised by her grandparents, an upbringing which surely explains her possessing a maturity beyond her years. Raised to a soundtrack of their favourites proved the spark that ignited her own musical passions, eventually leading her to study songwriting at BIMM in Manchester before releasing two EPs, ‘Breathe’ and ‘While You Lay Sound Asleep’, that earned early airplay from Huw Stephens at Radio 1 and Lauren Laverne and Tom Robinson at 6 Music, plus acclaim from Clash and The Line of Best Fit. In the back of her mind, however, was the nagging feeling that she could’ve done something that more acutely captured who she was. That emotional minefield was complicated further by the death of her grandparents before therapy and a subsequently liberated approach to writing inspired this project.
- 1 Swimming Upstream 3:48
- 2 Boombox 3:54
- 3 Leaves 2:46
- 4 Alone With You 3:49
- 5 Main Character 4:19
- 6 Forever For Now 4:13
- 7 Lose A Tooth 3:57
- 8 Joshua 3:50
- 9 Little Avalanches 4:19
- 10 2D 3:30
- 11 Amelia 4:13
- 12 Easy 3:39