Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Here on the Independent Spotlight over the last two years, I’ve been fairly complimentary of Jack Morrison, a musician who I’ve explored in great depth via his work with The Links. To date, The Links have been an outfit to not only release great records, but they’ve built upon those albums and experimented heavily along the way. Morrison has another project, however, that’s been releasing music for seven years now, and it’s called Warganization.
Warganization is a collaborative effort, but most of the endeavor is helmed by Morrison. It’s on his Warganized Records label, and it has released an LP, a few EP’s, a live collection, and many remixes and singles over the years. Warganization’s latest pursuit is ‘In the World / Might Not Be So Hard,’ a double single with four new tunes. Do they clear the high bar Morrison has set for himself with his previous releases? Let’s dig into them and find out.
The eclectic nature and quality studio production that I’ve come to expect from Morrison and The Links is still available in abundance in Warganization’s music. The music, however, is much more electronic and pop focused, and the lead single, ‘In the World,’ is a perfect example of this. The tune is an explosion of personality, and the cascading waterfalls of electronic instrumentation are accentuated perfectly by the infectious lead vocals. It would seem that Morrison is simply incapable of not penning incredibly funky tracks.
The b-side to ‘In the World,’ a tune called ‘Carlsbad Clap Trap,’ is in some ways, even stronger than the a-side. It’s an instrumental effort with some very light, drowned out vocals that are used as instrument samples of a sort. It's so unique and original - a must listen. I’d actually love to see Morrison collaborate with a hip hop artist. ‘Carlsbad Clap Trap’ is a song that sounds like it’s right off a J Dilla album.
‘Might Not Be So Hard’ is a more surreal effort, doused in a very thick dose of reverb and complemented by a soundscape jam-packed with vocal crooning and sublime electric guitar performances. ‘Runway Rascals,’ the b-side that follows, further concretes my notion that Morrison should find a hip hop artist to work with. It’s a fresh, dynamic beat that would be perfect for an intense hip hop performance.
Jack Morrison is one of the few independent artists I’ve touched on at length here on the Spotlight that releases consistently excellent music. He’s a force to be reckoned with, and the latest release from Warganization is no exception. Go check it out; it’s a terrific collection of four songs very much worth your time.