MORGXN FT. WALK THE MOON REVEAL
LA-based artist morgxn and Alt-Pop four-piece WALK THE MOON have come together to reveal their take on morgxn’s standout single “home.” With dynamic visuals on the way, “home” seamlessly blends morgxn’s vocals with WALK THE MOON frontman Nicholas Petricca. The pair sang “home” for the first time live at morgxn’s Lollapalooza debut performance earlier this summer and decided to go into the studio to turn it into an official collaboration.
morgxn about the single:
“When Nicholas from WALK THE MOON joined me at Lollapalooza on this song I felt something cosmic in that moment and the idea was born to make a new version. How often do you get to step back on the mic and sing with the feeling of singing in Paris, London, Berlin, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Chicago, New York, Nashville...
morgxn who recently released his debut album vital sat down with Rolling Stone and GRAMMYs at Lollapalooza to shed light on his standout song “home” (over 10m streams) and a Robert Smith-approved cover of The Cure’s “boys don’t cry.” Additionally, his song “carry the weight” was the soundtrack to HBO’s chill-inducing “Share The Love” PRIDE campaign HERE and added to SiriusXM's Alt Nation. Morgxn recently revealed a live, stripped down version of his single “carry the weight”, shot at Clubhouse Austin here and an intimate Baeble Music NEXT session “Armed with just a piano, he let his voice shine, switching between powerhouse vocals and delicate vibrato” here.
morgxn is currently on tour with Dreamers and Weathers, stopping in cities across the country from Atlanta to Columbus (see all dates below.) Previously, morgxn has toured with Phoebe Ryan, Skylar Grey, miike snow and X Ambassadors.
More on morgxn:
The reason indie pop-soul singer morgxn left his Nashville-home for Los Angeles was to find “space to think, breathe, and be with myself,” he explains. Within weeks of the move, he had a fateful encounter. An acquaintance invited him to a music party and asked, “‘Do you want to meet Stevie Nicks?’” Of course, he did. “She gave me advice that I have taken to heart ever since. She told me, ‘You have to keep moving. This world will walk over you if you don’t just keep going.’ When you fall down, get up, keep moving. That changed my life.”
With that resilience in mind, morgxn named his first album vital (out 5.18.18, wxnderlost / Hollywood Records). All cascading synthscapes and cool beats, it nimbly navigates the expanse between everything devastating and joyous about the human condition. “Early on, I banged on doors for a long time, to have people listen to me. What I needed to do was just make the music I needed to make,” says morgxn, who just finished touring Europe with X Ambassadors. “It wasn’t about waiting for an opportunity. I made that opportunity.”
“home,” his breakout song, anchors vital. The exhilarating chorale has clocked nearly 7 million Spotify streams, won him opening slots with Skylar Grey and Miike Snow, and even inspired a partnership with the Covenant House, a charity for young runaways. (Its artful video features a teen’s liberation from grim suburb to glittering, free-spirited club.) “Home is more than the bed you lay in. It’s literally the adventure of finding the place that makes you feel alive,” he says. “The song is about having a feeling of belonging, who I am in the world, what I have to say.”
vital can be stinging in its honesty. The title track is at once a dirge for his late father and a paean to his great love of music (“You’re vital to my motion/You’re the one that keeps me open/When I feel like I can’t move/You come and pull me through”). Meanwhile, the fluttering, falsetto’d “translucent”—the album’s first single—exposes a lover’s artifice (“I came here lookin for my hallelujah…but your walls and edges start to show the truth”). Making music can be morgxn’s therapy or escape. At times, it’s both.
Even from a young age, morgxn defined himself through song. He began by singing at home with his mother and his grandfather, who was a vaudeville performer, while his father encouraged him to play piano. By age 8, morgxn became the youngest member of the Nashville Symphony Choir, was “killing it” in the gospel choir, acting and doing anything he could to “get out of the house and into a song.”
At age 9, morgxn penned one of his first songs, “I’ll Always Be Here for You.” “It was about the most stalkery form of love,” he says, laughing. “Like, ‘I’ll never not be standing right next to you.’ I wrote love songs knowing nothing about love.” Years later, he composed “me without you,” a fractured ballad featuring the truly gutting observation, “I don’t know love without mourning.” Says morgxn: “That was the love song I’d been trying to write my whole life. There’s nothing like loving someone so much that it hurts when they’re gone.”
After college, morgxn made his way to New York to pursue theater, appearing in the acclaimed musical “Spring Awakening” but found that, even on the biggest stage in the world – Broadway – he felt empty. He also realized that he was losing himself in characters while singing and playing others art. “I wasn’t expressing anything anymore by telling other people’s stories,” he says. “I needed to sit in myself for the first time ever, speak from my point of view.” So he debuted original material at New York’s prestigious Joe’s Pub and started writing sessions with various producers, to little avail. One particular writing session, in London, fizzled out when he got deported for lacking a work visa.
“I came back to the U.S. with my ass on the ground,” he says. “Someone recently tweeted at me that Subway was playing “home” in their stores. I didn’t expect to have such an emotional response to that. There were times when I bought one sandwich, making it last the full day, because it was filling and cheap.” After scraping together some cash, he ultimately made his way out West.
“After I came to L.A., I wrote “xx” and felt my whole universe shift,” say morgxn, of the cooing, blissed-out track (pronounced “kiss kiss”). He recorded vital primarily with producer Ryan Marrone (M83, Nicki Minaj). “He pushed me really hard through the process,” morgxn says. “With ‘xx,’ I remember him leaving the room with this song looping on the computer. He was like, ‘Keep going. Keep going.’”
It was Marrone who suggested the cover of “Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure. “I looked at the lyrics and started crying,” morgxn says. He recorded it just after his father’s passing. “What was magical was that Ryan turned off the lights, played the guitar line, and we recorded it in a small, 4’ x 4’ room. I will cherish so much about making this record. These are moments you can’t engineer.” Still, other moments weren’t as effortless. “roots”—a mournful, nearly a cappella precursor to “home”—went through 20 versions, before morgxn decided he liked the very first one.
“The record was very much shaped by time and just life,” he says. The contemplative, mid-tempo “bruised” and the piano ballad “carry the weight” broach the topic of moving on. “There’s a bit of our heart we’re trying so much to protect,” he says. “I’ve struggled with that. To just accept the fullness of who I am.”
Though much of the vital is inspired by loss, it’s actually the sound of morgxn practicing the Tao of Stevie Nicks. “When you hurt, accept the pain and keep moving,” he says. “Music has been the constant in my life that has kept me going. This record literally gave me the ground to walk on again.”
On WALK THE MOON:
Hailing from Cincinnati, OH, WALK THE MOON consists of Nicholas Petricca (singer/keyboardist), Kevin Ray (bassist), Eli Maiman (guitarist), and Sean Waugaman (drummer). WALK THE MOON’s new single “Kamikaze,” off their most recent album What If Nothing is currently dominating the charts, following their lead single “One Foot” which hit #1 at Alternative Radio. In 2015, the band catapulted to stardom when their hit single “Shut Up and Dance”, which is included on their RIAA Certified Gold album TALKING IS HARD, became a multi-platinum global smash that peaked at No. 1 on the Alternative, Hot AC, AC charts, No. 4 on the BillboardHot 100, and went to No. 2 at Top 40 radio. The track also broke the record for consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart at the time. “Shut Up and Dance” racked up over six million downloads and 850 million streams in the process leading to a slew of honors including winning two Billboard Music Awards, a nomination for an MTV Music Video Award for Best Rock Video, American Music Award nominations for Favorite Pop/Rock Duo Or Group, New Artist of the Year, and Favorite Alternative Rock Artist. They were also nominated for an iHeart Radio Music Award for Best Duo/Group of the Year, Song of the Year, and Alternative Rock Song of the Year for “Shut Up and Dance”. WALK THE MOON has been praised by music industry tastemakers across the board since their explosive first single “Anna Sun” was released in 2012, as Interview Magazine proclaimed, “There's something about WALK THE MOON that's absolutely out of this world. Their music is addictive, energetic, and fun.” Rolling Stone also raved about the band’s live show, “The precocious Ohioans stack melodies upon melodies in new-wave-infected songs that attack the ear like a starving Mike Tyson.”
morgxn live dates:
Fri 9.21 - Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub (tickets)
Sat 9.22 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits (tickets)
Mon 9.24 - Nashville, TN @ Exit In (tickets)
Tue 9.25 - Atlanta, GA @ Club Hell (tickets)
Wed 9.26 - Charlotte, NC @ The Underground (tickets)
Thu 9.27 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage (tickets)
Sun 9.30 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall (tickets)
Mon 10.1 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom (tickets)
Tue 10.2 - Philadelphia, P A@ Voltage Lounge (tickets)
Thu 10.4 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit Hall (tickets)
Fri 10.5 - Columbus, OH @ The Basement (tickets)
Sat 10.6 - Detroit, MI @ The Shelter (tickets)
Mon 10.8 - Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre (tickets)
Wed 10.10 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall (tickets)
Thu 10.11 - Burnsville, MN @ The Garage (tickets)
Fri 10.12 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada (tickets)
Youtube - http://hollywoodrecs.co/morgxnOAC