Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Neal Morgan's drums and voice compositions intrigue

March 3, 2012

If you’re like me, you have a draw toward things that are different. This holds true across many spectrums, but it’s especially true in the music department. Hearing the same songs or structures again and again bores me like none other. I’d assume most of you are at least partially like this, otherwise you wouldn’t be checking out a music discovery site such as IC.

Thankfully, there are many acts out there that satisfy my desire to hear the unique and creative. Neal Morgan’s 2012 LP In The Yard is one of those albums.

Morgan is most noted for his drumming on Joanna Newsom’s album Have One On Me, but In The Yard, released January 24th on Drag City Records, marks his second solo LP release. The record is a drum and voice masterpiece that includes soloing, poetry, spoken word, improvisation, and Simon & Garfunkel-esque background vocal melodies. Morgan covers all the bases.

Tracks like “I Stand on a Roof” feature brilliantly-written, poetic lyrics with eccentric drum fills spacing about the whole cut. Other cuts, like “Thinking Big,” combine vocal harmonies, killer grooves and more of Morgan’s signature spoken word over the top and interlaced throughout the track. As a drummer, I naturally am drawn to this work for Morgan’s groove behind the kit.

A small disclaimer here: I would definitely recommend Morgan to the adventurous listener. If nothing else, it feels good to try something new. But for me, this certainly deserves several more listens to fully grasp just how unique and refreshing this album is.

In The Yard is a tough album to capsulate into one post. The sound is unique and not something that is heard every day. For an artistic change of pace, Morgan’s album is the perfect fit. —Clark Foy

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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