Nashville based indie pop artist Morgan Isaac Karr, better known by his nom de plume morgxn, is on tour for his Meridian [extended edition LP], which was recently released. Accolades follow.
This is his second major project since he came into the scene in 2016 with a debut single ”Love You With The Lights On.” His catchy heart wrenching hooks, huge vocal performances and messages of hope and despair should have listeners reflecting on on their lives.
Meridian, as morgxn says, is “more about the journey than the destination.” Listeners can catch a glimpse of his journey as he takes them through his heartbreak in “HOW DO YOU HOLD WHAT HURTS,” through his rollercoaster of emotions in songs like “MOOD SWING” and “LOSING MYSELF” and through his journey to heal his scars in songs like “PUMP THE BREAK” and “PORCELAIN.”
He expresses himself without many lyrics and detail, but his vocal performance and instrumental choices allow his emotion to be felt nevertheless.
The latest creatation is at its strongest when the instrumental and vocals work together. The highlights for me were “WONDER,” “PUMP THE BREAK,” “PORCELAIN,” “REFRAME,” “HOW DO YOU HOLD WHAT HURTS,” and “THE WAY THAT IT WAS.” What sets these songs apart is their catchiness, clever lyricism and great vocal performances. However, there are songs with the instrumental failing to match with vocals and the lyrics.
Songs like “LOSING MYSELF” and “BURDEN” feel like their messages get lost within their uncharacteristically upbeat instrumentals. Along with that, the last song in the project, if one doesn’t count the “WONDER” reimaginations, “IF I KNEW YOU IN A PAST LIFE” felt out of place and repetitive. Had the project ended with “THE WAY THAT IT WAS,” it would’ve been more powerful and concise.
Overall, this project is another achievement for morgxn; there are very strong songs in Meridian full of emotion and a hopeful hopelessness that strengthens their authenticity. One can really feel some of the lines in the hooks to these songs and they really come through because of his passionate delivery.
I would rate this project a 7/10, while some of the highs will have you singing the hook all day. The lack of lyrical complexity, the odd instrumental picks at times and the lows of the project result in a grade lower 10/10. Though some might disagree.
Reviewer Luis De Leon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
morgxn’s “The Way It Was” is on his Meridian Vol.2 EP released in November, 2021. He teamed up with LGBTQ+ nonprofit support organization The Trevor Project offering a 24/7 hotline and trained counselors to LGBTQ+ youth and donating a portion of the sales from his new merchandise to the organization.
1. WONDER [with Sara Bareilles]
2. PUMP THE BREAK
3. LOSING MYSELF
6. MOOD SWING
7. HOW DO YOU HOLD WHAT HURTS
8. BROKEN PEOPLE ft. Phoebe Ryan
9. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT
10. BURDEN ft. Now, Now
12. THE WAY IT WAS
13. IF I KNEW YOU IN A PAST LIFE
14. WONDER (reimagined by Jagwar Twin)
15. WONDER (reimagined by Little Kruta)
February 11—The Kessler—Dallas, TX
February 12—House of Blues Bronze Peacock—Houston, TX
February 16—Record Bar—Kansas City, MO
February 17—Fine Line Music Cafe—Minneapolis, MN
February 19—Old Rock House—St. Louis, MO
February 20—Lincoln Hall—Chicago, IL
February 21—HI-FI—Indianapolis, IN
February 23—Union Stage—Washington DC
February 24—Irving Plaza—New York, NY
February 26—Velvet Underground—Toronto, ON
February 27—Café Campus—Montreal, QC
March 1—The Sinclair—Boston, MA
March 3—Thunderbird Music Hall—Pittsburgh, PA
March 5—Motorco Music Hall—Durham, NC
March 6—Terminal West—Atlanta, GA
March 7—The Saturn—Birmingham, AL
March 16—Bluebird Theater—Denver, CO
March 17—State Room—Salt Lake City, UT