Last week I wrote up a KEXP Live Session from Orville Peck, who many consider to have the country album of the year for 2019, and I profiled his particular theatrical brand of country that sonically resembles the western music of the ’50s and ’60s than any modern country you hear on the radio, but WV artist David Morris‘ brand of country heads in a completely opposite direction.
“Bro Country” artists and bands like Florida Georgia Line have ruffled feathers with their seldom use of trap percussion, specifically 808s in their instrumentals, which has offended country purists and rap fans alike (who claim this is appropriation), byt David Morris takes these new conventions twenty steps forward.
The Lil Nas X explosion provoked a discussion within country music about what makes a song country. Is it twangy vocals? Rural leaning content? Some particular instrumentation that must be present? This lead many to agree that country music is more of an atmosphere than a set of rules, as it takes many influences from blues and gospel, and now most recently, trap. David Morris uses a surplus of trap drums in his music with a twangy guitar to provide the melody. The beat is totally made up of 808s, hi-hats, and kicks that would be totally at home on nearly any rap album that dropped this year, but Morris’ southern vocals and the soulful melodic components allow this to rest in the country genre.
David Morris is at the very least an extrememly interesting iteration of a genre that has grown stale over time, and he very well may be the future of country music. It is going to be very fun to watch him develop.
Watch the “In the Dark” visual here: