Intrepid singer-songwriter Sarah Morris has been a rock-solid staple of many a Twincy small stage, delivering intimate solo guitar-and-vocal performances and more up-tempo Americana in front of a full band. Morris has also recently translating all that stage time into her third album, hearts in need of repair, a record with her strong narrative songwriting skills and the craftsmanship of all her musical experience.
Ahead of Morris’s release party at The Hook & Ladder on Friday we sent her some Quick Questions about hearts, which boxes she fits into, and doing videos in Northeast MPLS.
Secrets of the City: It’s always hard to answer this question, but what’s the best way to describe you as a musician? Singer-Songwriter? Americana? Folk singer? “Rootsy”? Do you connect all the music writing you do to your public performer role?
Sarah Morris: I usually use all of those words! I try to say them really fast so it sounds like a single genre. Ha! But really, I love the term singer-songwriter because that’s exactly what I do! And I’d been a singer for years before I wrote any of my own material, so it felt like such an honor to get to add that hyphen there. I do say Americana—right now feels like a big umbrella that welcomes most anything with a rootsy sound or heavy attention to lyrics. I also know that I’ve got a real country background—I lived in Nashville for a while and I soaked up as much about country songwriting as I could. I do connect most of my music writing to my public performer role, although my dream dream dream is to have other artists sing my songs.
Do you take a different approach to writing music for your solo songs versus a full band? Will your next songwriter challenge include a full band?!
Anytime I write, I’m writing only with the intention to write the truest, most complete version of that song that I can. Then I take my favorites to the band, and we work together on the arrangements. They are each incredibly talented, and composers in their own right, and I have learned so much from working with them. I think the timing of the songwriter challenge would make it hard to do as a full band, BUT I have suggested to each of the band members that they join in for the fun! I *think* I might have tipped Andrew the Bass Player into strongly considering it!
How cohesive does an album have to be for you? hearts in need of repair is definitely thematic around vulnerability and love, but did you leave anything off that was a rock solid song that just didn’t fit?
If I’m going to make an album, I do want it to be cohesive. I think there is something to be said these days for singles, EPs—there are so many ways you can release your music into the world. This time around, I felt like I had a group of songs that wanted to be together—they felt like the stories of the hearts in need of repair. I did have 4 songs that I considered that didn’t quite fit, but I could see any one of those songs having a future life in another format.
You video for “Sway Me” is set in the classic Northeast Palace—have you ever been kicked out of there?
Well, only if you count the fact that we had to be done shooting by 10 AM that day!
Is the release party basically a reason to hang out at The Hook with all your friends who make up your contributors and band of notables?
Yes. Completely! It IS my birthday after all 🙂 But I’d love to make some new friends, so people out there—come on out! It’s gonna be a good night!
Tickets are available for Sarah Morris’s album release party at The Hook & Ladder on Friday, Nov 10th, 7:30 PM. $12 advance, $15 door.