Drag City

NEAL MORGAN - To The Breathing World LP

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LP version with a lyric sheet! To The Breathing World is, as the title implies, a debut album, as well as a letter of love to the world at large and small. Sober of voice, ecstatic in heart and mind, Neal Morgan has broken through, and coming through the polyphony of voices and blur of arms and legs and sticks and cymbals is the sound of a manifesto. You see, To The Breathing World is composed entirely of Neal's own drumming and singing - it's a purposeful venture into the world of song from a singing drummer's perspective behind the traps. It is all Neal, all the time - just the voices from his head and the kit under his hands. Drums captured with distorted basement thrump, adorned with sweet configurations of vocals that flutter alive above the din - weaving and swimming, expanding... From episodic pieces like "Salamanders" to the rolling funk of "Love Me World," To The Breathing World is a sculpture - no, a mobile, balancing on top of the turrets of the sandcastles of tradition. Or maybe it's a flag, blowing in the natural air, declaring this territory in the name of Neal Morgan. This is new music - this particular flavor of drum and voice composition is a sound not previously presented for commercial consumption, but for Neal, it's been a long time coming. He's been drumming for twenty years. Over the past few, he's been widely heard and seen as Joanna Newsom's barefooted drummer, appearing on her EP & The Ys Street Band, as well as on tour dates around the world (and on her forthcoming album!). It was between those engagements, hacking away back home in the woodshed, that Neal found the sound he'd been listening for - and the place to call his own that he'd always hoped to find. Drumming and singing were sacred - but in order to write songs, he felt he needed other skills and had learned other instruments over the years with which he felt no special bond. As a result, the music never felt like it was his. What had eluded him all along was the recognition that all that he needed was just the drumming and singing!