Smile Politely

This summer Midwest beauty

When you are with Morgan, as I was Monday night, it’s best not to press the “en español” button while buying ice cream at the County Market self-check out on campus. Purchasing the ice cream took longer and there was some confusion — along with a few stares from other shoppers. Yet, we made it through. That said, it was a challenge; we were trying to decipher what the automated Spanish-speaking lady said in order to acquire something delicious – something fulfilling.

And in a way, that’s analogous to Morgan’s music.

When I first listened to Morgan Orion’s music last summer, I was skeptical. On the surface, I heard a jumble: a mix of angst, maracas, guitars, and faint voices in the background. But as I began listening to his songs more often and when I subsequently dug past the surface level and started analyzing the lyrics — I was hooked. I realized at that point something that has stuck with me since: that hi-fi, or, “aesthetically pleasing” music, while easy to listen to, all too often lacked emotion that allowed you to actually experience it.

In many ways, Morgan’s lyrics describe a litany of things – a myriad of wants and needs that often reflects his experiences as a person. Song such as “Rubix Cube” and “Traveling” epitomize such experiences.

Annie Valocchi, who worked on Morgan’s album and sang with Morgan on Monday night, says that she enjoys playing with music with Morgan because “he’s always true to himself.” She added, “you get to express your self when around Morgan … He’s unique because he’s always true to himself and honest to his music and sings about what he believes in.”

Miranda McCarthy, also present Monday evening, says being with Morgan is always an adventure. “Playing with him at a show is the prize at the end.” She sees the future Morgan, “in the same place he is now, or in some random country backpacking and doing shows there.”

… Then along came the band, Your Yellow Dress, on tour from Orange County, California:

This trio was amazing!

One thing that house parties offer over a regular venue is that the environment often reflect the artist. When Morgan was playing — books from his childhood listened with us; tuning his guitar brought family pets to his feet. House parties are where it’s at and is often the kind of place where the host artist can truly reveal their musical passion — where that musician is truly comfortable …


Photos and video by Cody Bralts

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