The Upshot: Dead Confederate mainman serves up a solo set that’s his best songwriting yet.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
T. Hardy Morris has a very distinct voice. It can be heard in his work with the defunct Dead Confederate, with his fantastic supergroup Diamond Rugs and you can certainly hear it on his quieter, more stripped down solo records. It’s a bit nasally, soft spoken, but he manages to pack a lot of emotion into those vocals and nowhere is that more obvious then on Dude, The Obscure, his third solo outing.
The songs here tend to be darker than his previous efforts (“Cheating Life, Living Death” in particular has a heavy vibe), but simultaneously this is some of his best songwriting yet. The tracks here all share the same elements: thoughtful, smart and often beautiful. Though based in Athens, GA, Morris decided to decamp in Nashville for this recording along with producer Adam Landry who worked on Hardy’s first solo album as well as the two Diamond Rug LPs. The sound is raw and unpolished, giving the record and even lonelier, almost haunting vibe, not unlike a Nick Drake album.
The one thing missing from Dude, The Obscure, are a few more raucous, upbeat tracks, but that can easily be rectified with a new Diamond Rugs record.
DOWNLOAD: “The Night Everything Changed,” “Cheating Life, Living Death” and “Lit By Midnight”