Rock ‘n’ roll that originates from Athens, Georgia, that has a dryly inquisitive nature all its own. R.E.M.’s early material seemed less written and performed than chiseled out of wood under mysterious circumstances, and the songs of Neutral Milk Hotel often threw the past, present and future into the same context to beautiful and nightmarish results. And the commensurately Athens-bred T. Hardy Morris is cut from the same cloth.
Dude, The Obscure, Morris’ new album due June 22 via New West Records’ imprint and sister label Normaltown Records, was named after a moniker the songwriter considered taking on for himself. It’d be just as well: lead single “Homemade Bliss” deals in existential crises of the most mundane, universal sort, but through terrific ‘60s-tinted glasses.
Muses Morris himself: “It’s about living with your decisions and their consequences,” and he quotes: “Wherever it is that you are standing/ That is the center of the earth/ Wherever it is that we are going/ We have been going there since birth.” And with “Homemade Bliss” as a guide, we can all follow our dude, the obscure, himself off the beaten path of our daily, humdrum anxieties to somewhere prettier. Listen below: