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New Music: Kendra Morris
September 6, 2014
New York based singer-songwriter Kendra Morris has reworked the seminal ‘80s Scottish anthem ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ by The Proclaimers; seeing the previously raucous drunken sing-along take on a refreshing alter ego in the form of a sultry throwback soul number, to be released later this month.
The re-release earlier this year of Morris’ critically acclaimed debut album ‘Banshee’ follows the release of a covers album titled ‘Mockingbird’. The Proclaimers cover single is included on the latter, serving as a defining example of her creative ability in reinventing an established classic. Morris imprints an intriguing blend of her own early ‘70s influenced psychedelic blues sound on the track, yet still alludes to wider pop tradition through a soaring chorus, creating a fittingly unique homage to her wide spectrum of influences.
Having grown up in Florida listening to her parents jazz and soul records, comprising such luminaries as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, Morris swapped college tuition in The Sunshine State for the engulfing urbanity of the Big Apple’s in chasing her musical dreams. This is reflected in her vocals, which show the range in inspiration from the greats she listened to during childhood, through to contemporary role models such as Adele and the late Amy Winehouse. With the latest single, available from September 15th, Kendra Morris offers up an exhilarating insight into a potential new soul scene darling.
In the manner her harmonious vocals are aurally invigorating, Kendra’s image is visually transfixing, portraying her as a defiantly bohemian character who wouldn’t seem out of place within the unassuming ambience of a hazy New Orleans jazz bar. Morris channels the mystical aura of genres throughout the ages with a distinct appetite for offbeat tastes, such as her personal taxidermy collection, and her ever expanding series of bird tattoos. This is a subversive testament to her toughened rock and roll exterior, yet beneath lies a delicately poised sentimentality, making for an enigmatic package appealing to many generations.