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Morgan Harper-Jones Shares New Single “Main Character” – Out Now via Play It Again Sam

September 4, 2023
Photo credit: Katie Silvester

Morgan Harper-Jones

Shares New Single Main Character”

Out Now via Play It Again Sam

Morgan Harper-Jones releases new single, “Main Character”, available now through Play It Again Sam. The new track tails recent single “Forever For Now”, Morgan’s follow up to 2022 EP While You Lay Sound Asleep, (produced by Luke Smith – Foals, with co-writes from Eg White & Keaton Henson), which drew fans amongst Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne. “Main Character” – produced by Iain Archer (Jake Bugg, Snow Patrol) – is streaming across all platforms from here.

Rochdale-raised, London-based Morgan describes “Main Character” as, “an anxiety-spiral-slideshow featuring all of my biggest regrets, safely decanted into a 3 minute 30 second song”, with the typical wry humor which also peppers her live shows, often undercutting the emotional intensity of much of her songwriting. The new track builds from its stripped-back, barely-there beginnings into a heavy, self-excoriating outro, more screamed than sung – “It was very cathartic and necessary to scream, to get all the gross feelings out” Morgan deadpans.

The atmosphere embraces the audience immediately, propelling through this raw landscape that gives off this warmth through the rising tones and lo-fi notes. Then Morgan’s powerful vocal notes and fragile lyrics sit richly above the immersive rhythms. The vocal harmonies reach out and build the volatile vision, producing a vision to the heartfelt direction, a vision which the audience can choose to follow and grasp at the affection and understand or where they reflect on their own personal experiences. It’s a tender and moving composition where Morgan breaks down any walls to allow the listener in, a fearless trait.

The new single is lifted from Morgan’s forthcoming debut album, a body of material written in the wake of the deaths of her Grandparents, a seismic loss to reckon with since they had solely raised her from a young age. “I’d never lost anyone before,” Morgan explains, “and that loss I think comes through on several of these news songs. It’s also about me reflecting on myself in light of that loss, like who I am as a person and how I react to things.” Harper-Jones says she found answers in therapy – particularly, she says, about grief and her mental health. “There was a period of time where I was obsessed with self-correcting. I think lockdown gave me too much time to think and I was convinced I was an asshole,” she laughs. “I was panicking about silly things I did when I was younger and having flashbacks to every mistake I thought I’d ever made. I was constantly looking for reassurance, praise, a gold star – I was desperate for someone to tell me what I was doing was okay,” she explains, saying it’s something she links all the way back to her childhood.

Morgan was raised from childhood between both sets of her Grandparents (her maternal Grandmother the owner of a record stall and her paternal Grandfather a keen musician who wrote songs for each member of the family). Their tastes in turn shaped Morgan’s own anachronistic love for the likes of Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Patsy Cline and Motown classics (with the telly permanently tuned either to Norman Wisdom films or 70s sitcom classic George & Mildred), and a tendency to describe herself as a fifty-something lady trapped in the body of a twenty-something girl.

Early experiments with songwriting and performing soon followed (eventually leading to full-time music studies at Manchester’s BIMM Academy) – with Morgan’s nostalgic reference points later suffused with more contemporary touchstones including Andy Shauf, Aldous Harding, Christian Lee Hutson, St Vincent and Adrianne Lenker. Linking all she says, is their exploration of human behavior – something Morgan is fascinated with. “I love psychology a lot and trying to understand humans – including myself!

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