by Samantha Mae
Morningside is the first full length album from Fazerdaze (aka Amelia Murray), tackling the pains of finding your own place in the world with a dreamy alt-pop sound. The name of the album is a nod to the New Zealand suburb, a place in which Murray finally feels at home. The coming of age album fluctuates between good moods and moments of doubt in a way that perfectly matches its theme of opening up to new ideas and familiarising with new settings.
Opening track ‘Last to Sleep’ suggests feelings for another person, and a fear of what they might lead to. It is uncertainty in the first moments of a friendship or relationship, where it’s too early to guess what might happen next. It is a fairly unusual start to the album, in that it’s not necessarily the most attention grabbing song to open with, but this happens to match the song perfectly in fact. Like wanting something more but bottling feelings up until later on, with the expectation that things will undoubtedly kick off, and sure enough Morningside grows with each song.
Through the sweet haze of Morningside there are depths of emotion, a relation to real life complications, big and small. If you were to take just the music, there would be a general feel good attitude to the whole album, but it’s not until you listen to the lyrics that you pick things out – almost as if it’s a journey where you grow familiar with someone or a place.
The guitar in ‘Little Uneasy’ reaches new levels with its beautiful main riff, before easing into the ever so dreamy ‘Jennifer’. There is an air of reminiscing, Murray is reveling in sweet memories as we are spinning in the clouds of her tale.
Each element of Morningside layers up to create an album of many dimensions. It is waking up with the sun shining into your room, being out with friends on a summer evening, spending time with someone special. It’s feeling at home, making sense of everything and being comfortable in your own skin. It is all these things and so much more – it is everything.
As the album closes on ‘Bedroom Talks’, Murray sets a relaxed scene, the calming sounds of nature matched with her gentle voice and soothing guitar. It’s as if we have been with her this whole time, sharing personal thoughts to one another. Murray builds a connection with the listener in such a subtle way that it catches you off guard. A profoundly introspective album, Morningside feels real, the perfect listen for anyone not sure of where they are right now.
Morningside is out now on Flying Nun Records.