T. Hardy Morris – Audition Tapes T. Hardy Morris – Audition Tapes

T. Hardy Morris - Audition Tapes

T. Hardy Morris – Audition Tapes

It’s a bit of a chestnut but Mark Twain’s, “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story” is still prophetic advice. I think that it actually pulls a good bit at the fibers of what actually makes up a good story. If a story can bind me emotionally to a character, or better yet an ideal, than the details of time and setting can be peppered in later. It’s why we, as a society, reserve words like timeless in the highest pantheon of compliments. The ideal that the best tales ever told feel personal across generations and cultures. Yet the entire onus of a good story lies in the hands of the storyteller.

Thomas Hardy Morris has spent the better part of two decades as the front man for Dead Confederate where he’s slagged around in fuzzed-out psych-rock with a distinctly Southern feel. Now, all this time later, we see that after the cascade of effected guitars are stripped away (or at least for the most part) T. Hardy Morris is an elegant singer and songwriter.

Audition Tapes is deliberately sparse and, emotionally, it slides around like the lap steel that it contains. This album feels like it has more of a supple membrane than any type of frame. The protagonists are all faceless throughout but T. Hardy Morris is adept at quickly bringing the listener deep within the psyche of his songs’ characters. Like four ingredient biscuits, Morris’ delivery is simple, warm and unassuming. If nothing else Audition Tapes is to the point: in most tracks there’s no setting, no names, but plenty of affection. The spirit of the album swells with eggshell-thin blusters like those of “OK Corral,” which is both passionate and grandiose while tragically afraid at the same time. There’s a countless amount of singer-songwriters that come off as vulnerable and distant. The charm that Morris has is letting his music expose the vulnerabilities in its listeners rather than draw attention to himself.

T. Hardy Morris has released something timeless with Audition Tapes. There’s a charm in the simplicity of the presentation of the music. One way he achieves this is by giving the listener just a glimpse into the mind of the songs’ characters, and rather than cursorily trying to provide too much context, Morris confidently allows for interpretation. What’s intentionally been left missing is the contrived majesty so many other singer-songwriters feel necessary to depend on. Morris has created an album that feels like it’s discovered some greater truth that could only be uncovered once everything was untangled.

Audition Tapes Tracklist:

1. Lucky
2. Disaster Proof
3. OK Corral
4. Audition Tapes
5. Hardstuff
6. Quit Diggin’
7. Share The Needle
8. History’s Hoax
9. Beauty Rest
10. Own Worst Enemy

T. Hardy Morris – Audition Tapes, reviewed by Big Ben on 2013-09-09T03:31:08-07:00 rating 4.3 out of 5

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