Visual artist and singer-songwriter Morly (aka Katy Morley) returns with newfound strength on heartfelt single “Twain Harte," her first new material as Morly since 2017.
After establishing her singular style with a series of EPs — In Defense of My Muse (2015), Something More Holy (2016) and Sleeping In My Own Bed (2017) — she took some necessary time away from the public eye as she battled chronic illness.
“Twain Harte” revealed itself to Morly as she found herself falling in love with someone across the Atlantic. The Minneapolis-born artist relocated from her homebase in Los Angeles to London this year, joining her partner, who was “a beam of light irrupting into the darkness” of her deteriorating health. Written across the three cities, “Twain Harte” paints a portrait of realizing you’re in love: “So when you call me from tomorrow / asking how I feel today,” she sings. “All I'm saying is / I’m so in love with you.”
The song is moving in its simplicity, beginning just with Morly’s honeyed vocals accompanied by Jesse Carmichael on piano, before swelling to an emotional climax with organ by Adam MacDougall and strings and bass by producer Chris Stracey (Bag Raiders). The single represents a stylistic shift towards organic sounds that was hinted towards in Morly’s previous works, blending her love of classic acoustic songwriting and minimal electronic music.
“I think Bob Dylan’s ‘Mama, You Been On My Mind’ was reverberating through me as I wrote Twain Harte,” she notes. “The power of a really simple small song, a single thought distilled and magnified. I was listening to a lot of Sade and old jazz recordings at the time as well, which I think gave me the gumption to write a pure, unapologetic love song.”
“Twain Harte” precedes more new music from Morly in 2021.