Release Date: Jul 17, 2015
Record label: Glassnote Entertainment Group
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
These days it seems like it can take forever for a debut album to arrive from a serious emerging artist. The fashion seems to be for tantalising the listening public with tour after tour, single after single. This can be a great thing. It can build a following so that by the time said debut album is released there is a buzz of anticipation which has been gently bubbled to fever pitch and is uncorked at just the right moment, as said debut album is finally released to the ears of a salivating public.
Twenty-year-old Londoner Flo Morrissey’s debut album, produced in LA by Noah Georgeson (Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart) and Philippe Zdar (Phoenix), is a beautiful confection burgeoning with musical ideas, modulations and textures, and her voice has both the agility of youth and a depth beyond her years. The swooping, acoustic guitar-backed opener Show Me has clear echoes of Kate Bush; elsewhere, Cat Power or Newsom are evoked. The romantic string arrangements on standout tracks such as Betrayed or Wildflower place them somewhere between contemporary folk and 60s pop; the harmonies on Woman of Secret Gold might call to mind Harriet Wheeler of the Sundays to some; the chimes and cello accompaniment on the closing title track leave you wanting more.
Drooled over by all the broadsheet culture sections and billed as a flower-child folky with Kate Bush-like pop songs, it’d be easy to roll your eyes and dismiss Flo Morrissey as one of those folks that prance down from to from Notting Hill to Glastonbury every year with acoustic guitars and flowers in their hair. Yet it’s important to put aside cynical thoughts and recognise that there is a pretty humbling talent here. The second eldest of nine children, Flo grew up on her father’s Antony and the Johnsons, Nick Drake and Devendra Banhart records and started posting songs to MySpace when she was just 15-years-old.
If you're after a quick way to feel ancient, just think about how 20-year-old Londoner Flo Morrissey discovered the likes of Joanna Newsom, CocoRosie, and Devendra Banhart in her dad's car when she was nine or 10 years old. Recently reissued documentary The Family Jams chronicles the innocent days of freak folk, the painfully amateur footage mirroring a shambolic summer tour spent rejoicing in the hands. A decade on, a pristine redux of the collective's influence manifests in Morrissey's debut, aided by the production of scene original Noah Georgeson.
When Flo Morrissey rhapsodizes about "singing through the sky," it's easy to imagine her floating through the clouds with a golden lyre. Joanna Newsom producer Noah Georgeson provides the enchanted-forest backdrops for the 20-year-old Brit's ethereal voice; you'll get lost in the lush romanticism of "Why," and the terrifically titled "I Only Like His Hat, Not Him" oozes woozy charm. At times, her melancholy lilt evokes that other Morrissey, but when she sings, "Please don't think I'm sad/Happiness is my friend in the end," heaven knows Flo isn't miserable now.
Flo Morrissey is a child of the freak folk revival, raised on Vashti Bunyan reissues and new albums by Devendra Banhart. Her 2015 debut Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, released when the singer/songwriter was just shy of her 21st birthday, carries elements of both eras -- the hazy trip of the original '60s hippies along with the exacting re-creation of said time -- and there's ever the slightest suggestion that the album was recorded in the wake of Lana Del Rey's dreamy, glam-gothic sway. No matter how she sighs as she croons, Morrissey doesn't truck in the fetishization of darkness: she bathes in the light, too young to harbor regrets and too conscious of tradition to break from them.
No this isn’t some long-lost sister of the be-quiffed bona drag Morrissey, but something else entirely. Flo Morrissey‘s debut, a mere two years after proferring a shonky home vid of her swimming underwater set to her self-penned If You Can’t Love This All Goes Away, was enough to pique the interest of Glassnote Records and to usher forth Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, which although being somewhat watery and opaque folk, does contain depths well beyond the kids’ pool. Much has been made of her tender years – 20 of them – but while ‘youth may be wasted on the young’ it also isn’t a badge of honour to be waved around unless it is something to celebrate.
Twenty-year-old Londoner Flo Morrissey was signed to Glassnote after a YouTube video caught the attention of company boss Daniel Glass. On Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, her debut album, producers Noah Georgeson and Philippe Zdar have cast Morrissey’s impossibly pure voice in a pastoral soundscape. The absence of electronic wizardry gives the album a timeless quality, and nods to the artists who have influenced Morrissey: tragic troubadours such as Nick Drake, Karen Dalton and Tim Buckley.
This is a flowery psych-folk album that musters little more than consistent pleasantness. You can't really go wrong here—this other-Morrissey has a gorgeous voice, accompanied with fine arrangements—but it's difficult to find reasons to spin this over vintage classics (Linda Perhacs, Vashti Bunyan) or one of today's other, more adventurous sound-alikes. (www.flomorrissey.tumblr.com) .
You know about the big releases each week, but what about those smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar. Don’t miss out on the smaller, lesser-known gems which might become some of your favourites. We’ve rounded up seven of the best new album releases from this week: catch up ….
"Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful," by Flo Morrissey. Flo Morrissey wrote "Show Me," the first song on her first album, when she was 15. "I need to learn to let it go," she sings, as if waving goodbye to her youth. An undulating guitar underpins the song, a perfect accompaniment for its meditative, melancholy mood.