Though I have never seen Jess Morgan live, I hope to do so in the near future. Her second album, Aye Me, conveys a feeling similar to that of a fastidious student waiting through the last few hours of school before Christmas holiday. There is a clear exuberance for performing the songs that has been tactfully softened to recast the material for an album format. Her guitar work is admirable and her voice is endearing.
Morgan captured the pace and progression of a live show for the album. She eases the listener into the experience by opening the album with the beautiful instrumental track ‘Heads of the Valley Road’. She, then, warms us with ‘Workhouse,’ a calm showcase of her vocal talents. From then the tempo and tone ebbs and flows until the second to last track ‘The Result’. ‘The Result’ feels like the natural close to the album, as Morgan balances her tasteful, fluttering vibrato with a smooth male complement. This is then followed by a lyrically lighthearted coda called ‘The Most of All’.
What makes Aye Me a particularly beguiling work is the coherence of Morgan’s ingenious vocals and her fresh, sometimes playful, lyrics. Regardless of the tempo, tone, or mood of the track, the listener can always feel Morgan’s creative spark. The taste that is left on one’s tongue after listening to Aye Me may be best expressed though a line or two from ‘Leave the Light On’, “Well they offered me the work and I said I would / Hoping that open air could do a person good / They said its only picking fruit, break your back to fill your boots / leave a light on and your worries at the door.”
Words: Paul Kellner