Based on their vibrant live shows and powerful vocals combined with beautiful harmonies there has been such an air of excitement and anticipation amongst the country and Americana enthusiasts in the United Kingdom prior to the debut eponymous full length release from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire based sextet Morganway.
There is obviously a temptation to be drawn to Fleetwood Mac as a starting point partly there are some tracks have a lot of that sort of guitar sound like ‘Let Me Go’ in particular but also because the sound does dip in and out of a variety of similar perspectives crossing an area of indie with aspects of southern rock to a really contemporary commercial folk and more experimental rock sounds. There is the obvious powerful female vocalist with SJ Mortimer on one side coupled with Callum Morgan bringing a male lead to other tracks with a high octane live show where another feature is their harmony sound which is why it is so easy to get sucked into a very contemporary innovative sound that still has a very retro feel to it.
What always stood out from when I first saw Morganway live compared to any of the other UK country or Americana acts is I heard songs that I was specifically thinking “I really like that song” and unlike a lot of other acts who I would think have something really nice or had good energy but I didn’t remember a lot because in a live arrangement I struggled to see and hear things that stood out. Now Morganway didn’t just have one song that stood out because on the first time seeing them they had a locker full of bangers! By that I don’t just mean they have a lot of fun up tempo songs or feel good rock songs but they had well thought out and well-arranged tracks that were melodically and lyrically sound and you were eager to hear a recorded cut of them!
‘London Life’ is their out and out ‘quote unquote’ country/folk/Americana song and the melody on its own is always going to be the most memorable thing you will gain from seeing them live and for me belongs to be played live on Broadway in Nashville where it would go down a storm. This is a proper fiddle track and Nicole Terry absolutely shines on this, but what I love about how this is recorded is how it retains all the positives of being traditional and contemporary at the same time. The other stand out track for me that I wanted to hear most was the first track ‘My Love Ain’t Gonna Save You’ and this probably me is their most creative track in that the keys bringing a bit of an electronica sound of indie (Foster The People combined with the first Haim album is what I’m trying to depict) but using the fiddle element really well to open it up further and for me is the strongest track on the record. Saying that the more I listened to the album ‘New Way’ really came to pushing this close and is actually a lyrical masterpiece and that’s before you even consider their live show stopper ‘Hurricane’ so like I said there’s a lot in that locker and this album is really raising the bar for anyone and everyone looking to come into country and Americana right now!
Moving on from C2C and at Black Deer Festival these tracks now have a home with the release of their debut album on August 2nd 2019. The first thing you notice listening to it is how their sound is equally as progressive recorded as they do when you see them live with all the different elements incorporated so well. This also goes hand in hand with the production, it’s really crisp and clean to be the extent it’s had a lot of work put into it without being overproduced which many people tend to fall foul of in the modern era. I like how some of the tracks sound like they have a bit more depth because a recording does have more potential but still retains all of their live prowess.
What makes them and their sound so unique that it is very hard to fit them in a box and this is more apparent on listening to the record because there is so much going on with their melodies, the vocal, the lyrics and everything that goes into making Morganway what they are which is the who EVERYONE in the country and Americana scene over here is very excited about! There will come a time very soon when these guys will be so in demand and this album is only just the beginning!
‘Morganway’ – Tracklisting
- My Love Ain’t Gonna Save You
- Let Me Go
- You Can Only Die Once
- In A Dream (Coming Home)
- Frozen In Our Time
- London Life
- New Way
- Daylight Rising
- I See People
- I Want No Other Love
The album is available August 2nd at https://listnin.co/Morganway
4th – Waterfront, Norwich (headlining)
7th – Omeara, London (Supporting CC Smugglers) (SOLD OUT)
10th – Lakefest, Wales
14th – The Green Note, Camden (SOLD OUT)
30th – Millport Country Festival, Scotland
21st – Little Rabbit Barn, Colchester
26th – Deepham Festival, Norfolk
28th – Westview Live, Lincoln
10th – Epic Studios, Norwich
24th – Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton (Supporting CC Smugglers)
26th – King’s Somborne, Hampshire (Supporting CC Smugglers) (SOLD OUT)
31st – Brudenell Community Rooms, Leeds, (Supporting CC Smugglers)
1st – The Junction, Cambridge (Supporting CC Smugglers)
6th – Bodega, Nottingham (Supporting CC Smugglers)
7th – Gullivers, Manchester (Headline show)
8th – MK11, Milton Keynes, (Supporting CC Smugglers)