Queens-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Morgan grew up in central Pennsylvania, where he spent countless Sunday mornings amidst the broken strains and coffee breath of his church congregation. His first record, Starcrossed Losers, became the alias under which he would go on to release two more, Bind Us Anew and Strange Hesitations, each featuring his distinctive conglomeration of Americana styles, from stripped-down acoustic ballads and love-lorn parlor laments to roaring alt-country and throwback 60’s rock’n’roll.
Younger At Most Everything, coming to Team Love Records February 25, 2022, is a collection of deeply personal songs that reads like a map of Morgan’s spiritual evolution. From child of evangelical Christianity to existentially paralyzed adolescent, drunken romantic to neurotic but industrious artist, Younger takes listeners on a bumpy journey through the badlands of self-doubt, fear, repression, and near-despair, charting the ongoing, non-linear path towards healing. The first single, “Do You Still Have Some Fight In You,” is out today.
“This song came from the belly of the whale which was my 2020,” Kyle explains. “I’ve struggled with OCD since I was 13, and the pandemic combined with the death of my dad triggered a spike in symptoms like I hadn’t experienced since my teenage days. ‘Fight’ arose like a message from a more evolved, future self, asking me to trust my innate capacity for recovery.”
Kyle’s father, who suffered from a rare, degenerative neurological disorder, is the subject of the album’s opening track, “And You”. Embedded in a lush arrangement of string quartet and finger-picked guitar, Morgan’s contemplative vocal gradually unveils a loving relationship marked by both joy and grief. Through an unwinding series of lyrical impressions – images, smells, sounds, memories – Morgan paints a singular portrait of fatherhood and family that transcends his particular experience: “Pockets full of watermelon Jolly Rancher wrappers / Beach volleyball / And all the games I never really wanted to play / But did anyway.”
Threads of meaning and narrative are consistently entangling and unravelling as Morgan explores varied shades of personal growth and desperation through song. The ambitious and highly imagistic “Ransom the Captive Heart” pushes the boundaries of linear lyricism, while painting a crystalline impression of the compromises of modern existence: “It’s a tragedy that’s played in two parts / Act I: sell your soul to feel free / Act II: buy it back at an outrageous fee.” Songs such as “Broken Love”, on the other hand, like a classic country song, discern wisdom in the mundane.
The album’s title, a mishearing of Gram Parson’s 1968 classic “Hickory Wind,” marks Morgan’s place in the history of American musicians who have blurred the lines between traditional and modern. The sparse, mostly acoustic arrangements, featuring fingerstyle guitar, pedal steel, pump organ, and Morgan’s earnest tenor voice, clearly reflect a deep love for classic roots music such as The Carter Family, Mississippi John Hurt, and The Louvin Brothers, while taking on the melodic inventiveness of such modern greats as Rufus Wainwright and Ron Sexsmith.
The production of Younger At Most Everything began in late February, 2020 with a whirlwind session at Welterweight Sound in the Hudson Valley of NY. Working with producer Ryan Dieringer, Morgan recorded live solo performances of over 20 songs in two days’ time, many of which would comprise the core of the album. The two used these recordings as access points to the deeper world within the songs – like a live performance at the gates of Kyle’s memory and imagination. These worlds can at times feel wistful and calm, other times stormy and defiant – like the long road to self-acceptance with its intermittent pavement and poorly timed flat tires.
Younger At Most Everything
Release Date: Feb. 25, 2022
Know No More
Deer In The Pines
Momma Take My Hand
Ransom The Captive Heart
Do You Still Have Some Fight In You