There are many pros and cons of being in the musical era we currently find ourselves in.
With streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music readily available at our fingertips, it is easier than ever for artists to get their name out there.
On the flipside, it remains as difficult as ever for artists to be properly compensated for their work.
The business model is different nowadays. Though corporate entities still exude a stifling amount of influence on the music industry, artists are becoming more entrepreneurial than ever, and are free to be as creative and out there as they want in the name of finding their own sound.
Bring in vocalist Morgan Pirtle, who accomplishes just that on her new EP, which is entitled "Muse."
By utilizing an organic combination of jazz and contemporary influences, Pirtle has pulled together a project that not only pushes the boundaries of where contemporary music can go but does so in a way that is thorough, cohesive and well thought out.
The project opens up with the title track, "Muse," which feels dreamy and ethereal. The layered vocals at the beginning are divine and distant as if they're calling out to someone who's deep in slumber. The serene soundscape is only enhanced by the smooth guitars and light saxophone hanging in the background, which create a fitting backdrop for Pirtle to muse on about beauty and sensuality.
The second track, "Go," finds Pirtle in a nostalgic state as she looks back on a past love. Though the song takes on a somber tone, Pirtle seems to have found a resolution within herself by the end of this song, coming to terms with the notion that some things simply aren't meant to be. The instrumentation on this song is gloomy sounding, as the brushes and soaring string sections are quite emotive and complement Pirtle's vocals quite well.
The EP picks up a bit more on the third track, "Perfection: Imperfection." The instrumentation really shines here, as the bouncing pianos and climactic saxophone solo really work well. Pirtle's vocal delivery is tranquil on this song as she touches on concepts of self-empowerment.
Muse finishes strong with the last two tracks, "Not for Me" and "Clarity."
The former of the two is an easygoing love jam, which sees the rhythm section taking on an unhurried feel. The bass solo on here is melodic and lyrical, really working well when coupled with the brilliant use of space between phrases.
Muse closes out on a bit of a melancholy note, as Pirtle is reminiscing on another past lover. The instrumentation really comes through again on this track. The percussion has an endearing sense of patience, and the string sections cascade through peaks and valleys. Pirtle sounds unsure of what is to come next, as she croons in earnest about seeking clarity after experiences that left her unresolved within herself.
Muse really has a lot going for it. The musicality on here is outstanding, as the heavy presence of live instrumentation gives this project something of a throwback feel. However, Pirtle has managed to create a tasteful re-imagining of the older influences she is clearly moved by, and for that, she has managed to carve out her own niche in the local contemporary music scene.
As stated before, Pirtle sounds emotionally unresolved at the end of this project. She acknowledges that finding clarity within one's self is a tedious process, a process that can take years. However, with how she meditates upon that sentiment in her songwriting, she seems to have found that sense of clarity as a musician.
And for that, there is definitely something to be said.
Muse is now available on all platforms.
Follow Morgan on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/morganturtle/
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