OLD-FASHIONED SOUL: Lachlan X. Morris’ album Ouija Board Heartbreak Tambourine shows maturity beyond his years.LACHLAN X. Morris has never been one to chase trends or the latest fads in music.
After all he began his music career at 16 playing in Chicago blues band The Navigators at pubs like The Wicko and Lass O’Gowrie, where hisbiggest fans were men old enough to be hisfather. Eight years on, Morrisis still producing music that appeals well beyond his 24 years.
On Monday the Newcastle singer-songwriterreleased his debut albumOuija Board Heartbreak Tambourine,a collection of 14 Americana and folk-rock songs. If you feel pangs of nostalgia, don’t be surprised.Morriswears his The Beatles, ELO and Wilco influences on his sleeve and in his arrangements.
“I got a bit cynical and jaded about current music and I was going through one of those grumpy old man phases,” Morris said. “Nothing was really exciting me and you can’t help but look back at some of those great records you grew up with from your parents or you just heard through your own research.”
Many of thesongs had been swirling around Morris’ head for the past two years and in order to realise his envisioned sound, he called on the assistanceof 22 other Newcastle musicians. The result is mature and lush arrangementsfull of trumpet, violin, cello, double bass, harmonies and even sitar on the closing title track.
“It feels really good to have stuck to my guns and all the arrangementsthat were in my head when I was writing them,” he said. “To have the finished product pretty much exactly like I wanted in my head, is always good.”
Lachlan X. Morris – WeightlessnessThe Americana on Ouija Board Heartbreak Tambourine is far removed from Morris’ former band The Guppies. The punk-garage two-piece enjoyed reasonable success four years ago, receiving airplay on Triple J andsupporting major acts Birds Of Tokyo and The Rubens on their east coast tours.
However, the former Lambton High student’s musical aspirations eventually outgrew The Guppies.
“I didn’t really want to be pigeon-holed just doing punk music,” he said. “I started doing solo stuff where I didn’t have a box to be put in.It was a great learning curve.”
Morris’ 2015 EP Resurrector provided glimpsesinto his songwriting talent, but it never came close to the ambition ofOuija Board Heartbreak Tambourine, where every song examines a differenttopic.
“It’s tackling something I need to talk about, whether it’s a past relationship, a social anxiety or my future situation,” he said.
“It’s as schizophrenic asthe topic of the songs are. Nothing really stays in the one theme for too long. There’s also heartbreak tied up in the album and tambourine on almost every track.”
Lachlan X. Morris performsat The Commons in Hamilton on July 7.