FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey releases debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful’

 

FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey, who we featured for FAULT Online in March, will be releasing her debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ next week, on Monday 15th June (Glassnote Records.)

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

We were able to have a listen to the record before Flo releases it into the world and it is a remarkably strong statement for a debuting artist (especially one who is only 20 years old.) Her voice is haunting and unique, richly retro-inspired, and hallmarked with the influence of Kate Bush, Devendra Banhart, Bjork, and Jeff Buckley. Her lyrics have a child-like fragility, and we see her exploring the journey into adulthood (especially pertinent given that she herself is on the cusp of a similar leap into the spotlight.) ‘Pages of Gold‘ and ‘Show Me‘ are statement tracks, with pop-power and surging melodies, whilst ‘Wildflower‘ and title-track ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ are somehow both ghostly and anthemic- an unexpected and beautiful balancing act. ‘Why’ almost teeters too far into fairytale-territory, with it’s lilting melody reminiscent of the Disney score for Sleeping Beauty (perhaps this particular reference says more about me than Morrissey), but its searching vocals are intriguing and anchor the track in emotion and experience. It is impossible to ignore the force of Morrissey’s artistry, and just how enchanting her voice truly is. Full of range, story-telling character, and effortless stylistic variations, we have no doubt she will continue to captivate as this album finally reaches its eagerly-awaiting public.

Revisit our exclusive feature with Flo here, with photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

FAULT Focus: Marie Naffah returns with #Blindfold – a special collaboration to raise awareness of visual impairment

 

FAULT Favourite Marie Naffah, MTV’s Unsigned Artist for 2014 and a star of FAULT 18 (The RAW Issue), has returned with a special project.

In a not-for-profit project to raise awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding visual impairment and sight loss, Marie has teamed up with a group of six blind and visually-impaired musicians to record and release for free her song ‘Blindfold’: as a documentary-style video exploring the disability and the importance of music to those who suffer from it.

Photography: Constance Meath Baker

Photography: Constance Meath Baker

The song itself was written by Marie, who is 22, as a response to her grandmother’s experience with blindness and the implications it had had on her life and the lives around her. Having performed the song to senior BBC broadcast journalist Tony Shearman, who is also blind, Marie was invited to play and be interviewed on Insight Radio – the official radio station of the Royal National Institute of Blindness (RNIB).

Steve Plowman, a blind drummer living just outside of London, heard Marie on Insight Radio and impressed by the poignancy of the lyrics, as well as the tuneful song itself, he asked Marie whether there would be an opportunity for him to perform it with her.

With help from the RNIB, five more blind and partially sighted musicians expressed interest in the project, and so it was decided that a documentary/recording of the track would be made: to emphasise the importance of music in the lives of visually-impaired people and to show how, contrary to public opinion, a disability such as blindness does not automatically prevent a person from being able to perform music.

The 12 minute documentary, made by filmmaker Constance Meath Baker, consists of a series of interviews with the musicians followed by the track itself, recorded at a studio in High Wycombe with help from producer David Lane.

www.facebook.com/marienaffahmusic

www.twitter.com/marienaffah

Billy Lockett is picked as our latest FAULT Future Artist

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What was your experience touring with Nina Nesbitt late last year like?

Really great. I’ve known Nina for about two and a half years, and back then we were really different people. It was exciting to play to some of those fans who were 14 back then, we’ve kind of grown up together in a way.

 

The industry has seen a real renaissance of the singer-songwriter genre in recent years, do you feel that it’s a type of music that fans really respond to?

Yeah definitely. Kids are really receptive and they love to be the first person to discover something new, that’s what I love.

 

The crowd responds to your live set with a real intensity and this is surely down to the passion you show whilst performing. Have you always been conscious of this interaction?

Not really. To be honest, until recently I would just mess around and get a bit drunk. Now it’s all at the piano, and I really want to get across all that I’m feeling- not in a self-indulgent way! But the live shows are the best thing about the job.

 

Is performing live something that has always come naturally?

I’ve spent years and years perfecting what I do on stage, with my manager constantly tweaking. Everything from the set order to the jokes I make and when I ask people to clap along; it’s very crafted. I’m a real perfectionist that way.

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Has songwriting always been a natural process for you or was that also something you had to develop?

I always used to write alone but recently I’ve actually been working with a lot of co-writers, just because it’s a lot more fun. To be in the room and be able to bash ideas off each other. But I love writing- I’ve written about 6 or 7 songs just in the last week.

 

How was that transition from writing by yourself – and being an artist under the radar- to now having a following and all these collaborators?

It was where it had to go- you have to follow the path. You could be the best musician in the world but if you don’t have any fans you’re not really anything. I didn’t want to just be stuck in my bedroom. You have to see it like an actual job.

 

From what age did you know this was what you wanted?

When I was 16 I did a talent show at school. I was a bit of a loser- in fact, I wasn’t even a loser because I didn’t even have enough friends to be a loser I just didn’t really exist- and I’d never sang but I wrote a song for this talent show and I ended up winning it. Suddenly, I felt like I knew what I needed to do and from that day on, I got management and an indie label, radio support, tours … and now I’m here.

 

You make it sound easy but at your show at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill you thanked your Mum for standing by you. Has it been all that you’d hoped for?

It’s been a nightmare [laughs] There are so many times when you wait around, and so much worry, and you put so much into the music and sometimes it doesn’t click. And it’s not like other jobs- with music, you’re so aware of everyone who is doing better than you. They stand out on posters, on the radio, on the tube – everywhere you go! You have to stick to your sound and be confident that what you’re doing is right, and at some point the world will know. Nothing worth having is easy.

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In a digital age, with such an over-saturation of artists and sounds and potential influences on your music, is it hard to ‘stick to your sound’?

It’s hard to find it! [laughs] You always find that you lean towards whatever is doing well at the moment. But you have to look for where you fit in the scene, and I’m confident that I do fit somewhere. You don’t want to be another Ed Sheeran, or another Tom Odell. I feel like I know my own space now.

 

One way you seem keen to differentiate yourself is with your visuals- your video for Old Man uses really striking animation. Is this something you’ve pushed for, or is it something that’s come from the team around you?

That’s pretty much all me. I like it to be real. A lot of people say it’s maybe too personal but that’s something I like. I love that my fans feel my songs tell them secrets about me. People really relate to it because it’s real and it’s honest. People want honesty from art.

 

As you get more famous, do you think that level of honesty is sustainable?

I hope I don’t change. I want to always be honest with my music but you make the music to be heard, so the more people hear it, the better. But when someone comes up to me and tells me my song about cancer helped them with a family member’s illness, that means so much more than 1,000 drunk people dancing to a catchy chorus. Though my manager sometimes wants the latter! [laughs]

 

What is your FAULT?

I worry too much. Constantly. I ring my manager every week and even when everything’s going great, I worry. It’s pointless but it’s just in my nature!

 

Words: Will Ballentyne Reid