Sally Anne Morgan :: Cups

When Sally Anne Morgan released the warm and welcoming Thread in autumn of last year, it felt like its own kind of Thanksgiving album—earthy, folksy, full of friends and radiating with joy. AD’s Tyler Wilcox called it a “natural, healing space, where everything is free and nothing is a weed.” What a striking and cerebral turn it is, then, for her to return this month with Cups—a solitary affair with a longer, more sustained compositional approach, allowing each note to bend of its own accord in search of melody and harmony. Morgan surrounds herself with her familiar banjo and fiddle, allowing extracted fragments of glockenspiel, handbells, xylophone and wooden frogs to distill themselves into each sonic excursion’s resulting form. The music gives off the sense of being discovered in real time—not in the sense of some scrappy off the cuff improvisation, but rather a patient and wide-eyed approach cultivating a complete picture. Whereas friends were sonically bustling at the feast of Cups‘ predecessor, here Morgan is slowly and solemnly harvesting alone, with only her instruments and imagination filling the space with warmth, color, curiosity, and gratitude. Crystalline and pure, she sets the table anew. | c depasquale

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