TIDAL Rising: Morly
“Bob Dylan changed everything for me.”
Performing under her Morly moniker, Katy Morley makes enchanting, minimalistic electronic pop. The Minnesota-raised and Los Angeles-based producer and songwriter first started making music back in 2010 after graduating college and feeling wholly unfulfilled: “I was just the saddest person and I didn’t know why. I realized it was because I needed to do music,” she explained to Dummy Magazine in 2016.
In 2015, Morly released her debut EP, In Defense Of My Muse to critical acclaim. And just this past March, Morly put out her second EP to date, Something More Holy, which even more than its predecessor is one you won’t want to miss. We used the opportunity to get to know Morly a little better.
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Who is Morly? Can you please introduce yourself?
A girl from the North Country (that is, Minnesota). I sing and produce and write songs and play some instruments.
Tell us a little about your most recent release. What do we get?
Something More Holy is my second EP but the first one that I really sing on. I was able to say some things on it that I couldn’t say with instrumentals. It’s also one I did in collaboration with my friend and endlessly talented soundsmith, Ajay (who goes by Stint). He was down to go into the deep with me and I think we made something really strange and wonderful.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
I mostly liked what my parents listened to – Bonnie Raitt and Fleetwood Mac from my dad, Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel from my mom – but when I was about 12 I discovered Aretha Franklin and completely fell in love.
When and how did you first get into music?
I always sang as a child – and I took piano lessons – but I didn’t really experience myself as a music creator until I turned 10 and started taking saxophone lessons. My teacher’s name was Felix and he was an amazing old blues guy. He taught me how to improvise and play what I felt.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?
Bob Dylan changed everything for me. I didn’t properly listen to him until my late teens; he transformed music from something enjoyable into a portal to the other side. Blood on the Tracks is still my favorite album. Otherwise, I feel like I learn something new about music daily.
What’s the best new song you recently discovered?
I’ve mostly been caught in the past – I can’t stop listening to Nina and Otis and all of the Bettys. I’ve had Cecil Gant’s “I Wonder” on repeat.
Can you share a fun fact about you or your music?
I don’t like melodies that feel too major or too minor – I like them to pull between.
What’s your favorite activity besides music?
Either dancing or painting, although both tend to have a soundtrack.
What’s coming next for you?
I’m not entirely sure, but I think it’s an album. All I want to do is write and record.
Looking some months ahead, what was the best thing that happened to you in 2016?
I can’t say! I don’t want to jinx myself.
Finally, describe your music as if it were in physical form.
I think it would look a lot like me.
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