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Byron Shire
June 24, 2024

From Byron to somewhere else with Luke Morris

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luke-morrisOver the last decade our region has become a bit of a mecca for young musical types wanting to kick back and focus on their art.

Back in 2012 Luke Morris quit his job, bought a car and started playing gigs up and down the coast. Eventually he ended up in Byron, the place he really credits with allowing him to develop his authentic musician’s voice.

‘There are a lot of restaurants where you can play or you can busk and develop your style. A lot of my friends that play here would agree it is a pretty good leg up in the industry to be able to perform your stuff on a regular basis. You can practise for a few years, and by the time you get on stage you are ready to go. The street is a great place to perform as there are always so many people coming by on holidays, they will stop and listen, and then take home a CD.’

Most recently Luke has worked with fellow musician Garrett Kato to create a mesmerising new single I Was Somewhere Else. Reflecting the organic vibe of the region, Kato and Morris recorded the single in living rooms and farm houses. ‘I wrote the song a long time ago,’ says Luke. ‘It was meant to be on my first release album but it wasn’t ready to record. It was a song I wrote about two people being pulled in two separate directions and not understanding why. That was the idea behind the song. I left it for a while, and when I got together with Garrett we spent about two months on that song. I have spent more time on that song than I have on the whole recording! It was a big process. We tried lots of guitar, amps and pedals. In the end it was confusing to know which way to go. There was the opportunity for it to be a low-fi acoustic song. We did it like that but it just sounded too pretty and too bright. We were trying to go for good quality and give it a vintage sound. Tried to keep the vocals and guitars as vintage as possible.’ In the end the pair nailed it, I Was Somewhere Else is really something else!

The writing process is something that Luke admits to not really having much control over.

‘I have a friend who basically writes every day. I tried to write like that but I can never get anything that lasts. If I force it I end up with these lines that when you look at it later just don’t sit right. I have to write when it comes, and then I won’t know what I am writing about at the time. I will let it breathe and look at it later and then realise on the spot what the meaning was. For me it’s a lot more potent to work like this!’

Although, like the great songwriters, Morris is in the Jeff Buckley camp of preferring to write songs about hard times, rather than good! ‘I am pretty unfortunate, I can’t really write happy songs, I can’t get inspired by the good things going on!’

When Luke plays his upcoming gigs he will be joined by his recording band. ‘I have two guys with me, Luke and Nick, they are in their own band called Sunrose, they are like a psychedelic experimental band, my drummer Joe plays in Vernas Keep, they are my main band I play with, it’s kind of the first time I have done a tour with the band. The band give a bigger sound – it’s going to be a big sound, probably the biggest sounding stuff that I have done. The gig will be rocking!’

Saturday at the Hotel Great Northern.

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