Following the breakup of his band Gift Horse, Athens, Georgia’s Hunter Morris gathered his thoughts in the streams of Georgia while pursuing his non-musical passion: fly fishing. Alone with only the sounds of nature and the past on his mind, Blue Blood, his latest endeavor, was born.
Given time to reflect in solitude, it’s surprising This is the Life, the band’s debut album, is filled with both tension and cynicism, albeit shrouded in a power-pop sheen. Look no further than “We Could Never Be Friends,” a swirling gem that doubles as a metaphor for Morris and studio mates Hank Sullivant (Kuroma, MGMT), J.J. Bower (Dead Confederate, Battle Tapes), Dave Spivey and Walker Howle (Dead Confederate) finding their collective footing.
From the electronic discord of album opener “Everyday is Yesterday” and buzzing “Jaw of a China Doll” to the self-effacing trappings of “Money to Lose” and closer “Black” with its opening couplet of “Lepers on hand / They’re falling apart now / Head in the sand / Sucking it down,” Morris vacillates between earnestness and irony. Were John Hughes still alive, the album’s title track would warrant inclusion on a future movie soundtrack.
Morris has found a new home in the form of Blue Blood. Much like fly fishing, patience with This is the Life is a virtue: while one could be easily swayed by the album’s simple melodies, repeated listens are required to succumb to Morris’s wry lyrical barbs.
Available now via This Is American Music, you can stream/purchase This is the Life on vinyl, CD and digital formats below.