British singer/songwriter Rae Morris began writing songs as a teenager in her native Blackpool. Inspired by watching a television performance by fellow Blackpudlian Karima Francis, Morris began crafting her own music. With her strong, warm vocals and gently hooky piano-led folk-pop, she quickly made an impression and was offered a deal by Atlantic when she was just 18. Encouraging the young singer to develop at her own pace, Atlantic put Morris on a singles diet for several years, letting her find her sound in smaller increments while she was still in college. Early singles like "Don't Go" and "Grow" eventually led to a 2013 EP called From Above. By 2014 she was actively working on her debut album with producer Ariel Rechtshaid (HAIM, Vampire Weekend, Charli XCX) and released several more EPs leading up to its release. In 2015, Morris delivered her full-length debut album, Unguarded, on Atlantic. ~ Timothy Monger
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Pop - Released January 23, 2015 | Atlantic Records UK
The debut, full-length solo album from British chanteuse Rae Morris, 2015's Unguarded provides a great showcase for the Lancashire-born artist's absorbing, hypnotic pop. The album comes on the heels of a string of successful EPs from Morris, who was signed to Atlantic at the young age of 17 in 2011. Despite her youth, Morris made the most of her early career boost, playing shows in London, developing her songwriting skills with singer/songwriter Karima Francis, and touring and recording with Bombay Bicycle Club for their expansive 2014 album So Long, See You Tomorrow -- all of which she brings to bear on the superb Unguarded. A well-curated assemblage of songs, some of which she wrote at 17 and produced with electronic pop mastermind Fryars (Lily Allen), and others she wrote more recently and recorded with Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Charlie XCX) in Los Angeles, Unguarded is a sophisticated debut, steeped in a chilly, if still insulated atmosphere that strongly evokes '80s-era Kate Bush. Morris earns such prestigious comparisons through her entrancing vocal prowess and offertory knack for writing catchy, eloquent songs that envelope you more and more with each listen. Cuts like "Under the Shadows," which intentionally lifts the groove from Bush's "Running Up That Hill," the sultry "Closer," and the Fryars duet "Cold," are infectious earworms that wouldn't sound out of place next to songs by artists like Peter Gabriel and Sarah McLachlan, just as they complement the work of such similarly inclined contemporaries as Gotye and Sia. ~ Matt Collar
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