Listen to the album here and check out the official film for the title cut and more below.
Shooting straight, most solo albums from established frontmen are either a watered down version of what they do in their main band or so leftfield and self-indulgent that most fans perplexed and frustrated. Luckily, there are wonderful exceptions like the solo debut of T. Hardy Morris, which pares things back for the greatest tenderness, long-view musing, and appealingly exposed singing yet from a young artist that seems thoroughly comfortable twisting himself into different shapes.
Audition Tapes (released July 30 on Dangerbird Records) isnâ€™t the head-buzz guitar reverberation and bloodied knuckle charge of Dead Confederate or the raunchy, whore â€˜nâ€™ drunkenness salutinâ€™ rawk of Diamond Rugs. Here Morris holds his heart out to inspect the scars and poke around in its fluctutations. The atmosphere is charmingly wistful and thoughtful as a good lean-in conversation where one picks through lifeâ€™s debris to find the scraps to form a small, sturdy ball of hope and happiness to bounce off the pavement and roll between oneâ€™s fingers.
The accompaniment of The Outfit is sighing empathy, utilizing nudges where Morris might employ more pushing and jarring with his other projects. Matt â€œPistolâ€ Stoessel (pedal steel), Thayer Sarrano (keys, vocals), Adam Landry (guitar, bass, drums), Justin Collins (acoustic guitar, drums), Julian Dorio (drums), Conor Lynch (drums), Mass Vasquez (keys) and Ian St. Pe (guitar) move with the fluidity of softly rustling tall grass, music filled with moving air and open skies filled with interesting clouds. Moments, notably â€œHistoryâ€™s Hoaxâ€ but also the general vibe, evoke the bittersweet John Lennon of Help! and Rubber Soul. Audition Tapes insinuates itself into oneâ€™s consciousness and heart slow as oneâ€™s dry ground soaks up its nutrients filled with rare, uncomplicated wisdom and soothing lilt.
We asked T. Hardy Morris to tackle DIâ€™s signature questionnaire, and he kindly obliged.
- 1. Great music rarely happens withoutâ€¦
- Beer and spontaneity.
- 2. The first album I bought wasâ€¦
- Neil Youngâ€™s Harvest on cassette tape. My mom had the vinyl and we listened to it a lot and I remember her taking me to get the tape around Christmas. That same Christmas, my neighbors gave me a tape and as I was unwrapping it I could see the â€œa-n-aâ€ on the cover and I was like â€œYes! A Nirvana tape I donâ€™t have!â€. Turns out it was Santana.. I was very bummed.
- 3. The last song or album to really flip my wig wasâ€¦
- I have really enjoyed the new Phosphorescent album, Muchacho, a lot.
- 4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to beâ€¦
- Spud Webb.
- 5. My favorite sort of gig isâ€¦
- A house show.
- 6. One thing I wish people knew about me isâ€¦
- I have seven chickens in my back yard.
- 7. I love the sound ofâ€¦
- A ride cymbal and a Telecaster with loads of reverb.
- 8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic asâ€¦
- I just try to make the next one better than the last one.
- 9. The best meal I ever had on tour was atâ€¦
- Mission Chinese on Orchard in NYC.
- 10. I always find the coolest audiences inâ€¦
- Athens, GA!
- 11. The worst habit I’ve picked up being on the road all the time isâ€¦
- Losing stuff – clothes, phone chargers, etc.
- 12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
- I like them both and respect them for being ahead of a curve that they had already created with each album (for a while thereâ€¦). I like that Zep always had the familiarity of the blues and an organic thing going on no matter how â€œout-thereâ€ they got. But I like Radiohead and Jonny Greenwood especially because there is no trace of the blues in his playing but itâ€™s still lead guitar. Very original.
- 13. The craziest thing I ever saw wasâ€¦
- You donâ€™t want to know.
Name: T. Hardy Morris
Band Affiliation(s): T. Hardy Morris & the Outfit, Dead Confederate, Diamond Rugs
Instrument(s) of choice: guitar