London-child Flo Morrissey, whose Los Angeles-recorded debut album
Will Be Beautiful
released this summer, cuts an ethereal figure, reminiscent of another time, nevertheless firmly rooted in the referential eclecticism of the present day. Her particular patchwork of references is rich and cohesive—from Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, Devendra Banhart, and Lee Hazlewood to the sacred music of Deva Premal & Miten, to Basquiat and Missoni, Amélie Nothomb, and the mystical theory of Emma Curtis Hopkins. Place can be inferred in Morrissey’s music as we hear the lush English countryside blending into a languid summer in Laurel Canyon—and a youthful wisdom wrapped up in fiction, pronounced with a voice as clear as a bell. We caught her in Ibiza: “not the party part—in the North—I am surrounded by cats and crickets.”
What do you associate with home?
Freckles, The Last Samurai, family, lessons, my perfectly cold bedroom.
What instrument or sound do you respond to the most?
I’ve been loving the sound of the kora, and strings always get me. I feel like I’m transported to a movie or a moment from my childhood when there is a romantic string arrangement in a song.
How does songwriting take shape for you?
I like to begin with a title, for this album it’s how most of the songs transpired and then sometimes the music and lyrics would combine easily, and other times the music could take longer when I have all the words. It really depends, and I am getting more in tune with how I can create as I get older, but life isn’t black and white, so I am staying open to experimenting and seeing where it takes me.
How does it feel to have released Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful?
So good, I feel very lucky. Some of the songs have been with me for five years so it feels like a big part of my life now can be released and also given back, new things can come from that.
What’s your favorite part of singing?
When I forget myself.
Photographer: Bella Howard for Sixsevenphotographic.com, London and artmixcreative.com, Los Angeles.
Producer: Jane Everett for Pranaproduction.co.uk.
Production Assistant: Louise Baker for Pranaproduction.co.uk.