By Eóin Donnelly
We’re almost halfway into 2018 and the year is finally beginning to hot up. The opening quarter of 2018 offered little to keep my ears busy, but with Cardi B (Invasion of Privacy), Kali Uchis (Isolation), ODIE (Analogue), Saba (Care For Me), Post Malone (beerbongs & bentleys) & Janelle Monáe (Dirty Computer) all delivering albums which are great in their own way in the past month, April was easily the most bountiful month of good vibes 2018 has gifted us to date, and that’s just the albums.
Although J Cole’s much-hyped KOD suffers from the familiar criticisms his previous two albums do- overly sanctimonious tone, no features, insipid production and not being anywhere near as profound as it thinks it is- it is admittedly still one of his better projects, and ‘Once An Addict- Interlude’ and ‘1985- Intro to “The Fall Off”‘ would be more than deserving picks for April’s Song of the Month award. Moreover, April saw the release of some of the year’s best singles so far, including A$AP Rocky’s trippy banger ‘A$AP Forever’, Anderson .Paak’s shift in sonic direction on ”Til It’s Over’, Drake’s topical female empowerment anthem ‘Nice For What’, The Internet’s groovy return ‘Roll (Burbank Funk’), as well as ‘OTW’, a summer road trip-ready alliance between three of RnB’s premier talents in Khalid, 6LACK and Ty Dolla $ign. This is merely scratching the surface on the treasure chest of brilliant music that the early weeks of spring reined in. Unlike the derelict in comparison first three months of 2018, my Song of the Month this time round actually took significant consideration.
First I opted for Saba’s ultra-relatable, grief-stricken tribute to writing as a coping mechanism in our loneliest moments (‘Calligraphy’); then I was drawn to Kali Uchis’ spectacularly joyous duet with Steve Lacy (‘Just A Stranger’); and then ODIE’s uplifting and ethereal ‘Phenomenon’ momentarily held the title. Plenty more were briefly considered as I struggled in vain to weigh a variety of moods and occasions against each other. Whether you prefer to listen to Post Malone’s ‘Zack & Codeine’ or Janelle Monás’s ‘PYNK’ entirely depends on what you’re doing. I came to a simple solution: what was the song I was quickest to tell my friends about? And then the shuffle button led me to a holy noise I had forgotten all about. April’s Song of the Month is MorMor’s ‘Whatever Comes To Mind’, an elusive title that suits the track’s indescribably beautiful aura down to the ground. This is a song that will take you some place. As the sunshine months finally commence, its timing couldn’t be more apt. I sent it to the group chat before I’d even got to the chorus.
‘Whatever Comes To Mind’, along with the equally incredible ‘Heaven’s Only Wishful‘, is one of only two tracks from MorMor currently on Spotify. He’s destined for greatness. As if Toronto didn’t already have enough of a presence in the RnB scene- with Daniel Caesar, The Weeknd, anders, Jahkoy, dvsn, Tory Lanez, ODIE, Majid Jordan, and of course Drake- MorMor is yet another burgeoning talent from Canada’s coolest city. Unlike the others, however, particularly Drake and his cohort of OVO Sound signees, MorMor does not approach his brand of RnB in the neon-lit, amorous, 90’s melody-inspired way that Toronto has made its trademark, deriving influence from artists as diverse as Feist, The Wu-Tang Clan, The Beatles, Nirvana and the Motown label. “I’m glad Toronto is getting a lot of attention right now”, he told Pigeons and Planes, “but my experience of the city that had shaped me isn’t really part of the story yet.” It’s no surprise that ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is his favourite Beatles song, as ‘Whatever Comes To Mind’ is equally enchanting, blending a shimmering acoustic backdrop with the elusive allure of MorMor’s celestial falsetto and misty synthesisers that fleetingly embrace you in a way that feels like the ultimate euphoria and the saddest goodbye all at once.
If you liked Frank Ocean’s Blonde, MorMor is for you. He has that same ability to leap genres effortlessly, creating an idiosyncratic, psychedelic and sensitive version of RnB that is vintage and futuristic all at once. The enrapturing lyrics, weaved together like gossamer fabrics, are also reminiscent of some of the more structurally experimental spiritual motifs (‘Seigfried’) on Blonde: “Floating down with you into/There’s something inside that you’ve been through/Whatever comes to mind’s what it came to/You’re running for your life till it finds you.” MorMor’s is also similar to Choker, another emerging talent who made a top-15 appearance in both my top 50 songs and albums lists from 2017. With only two songs delivered so far, however, I sense that MorMor has so much more sorcerer’s tricks up his sleeve. The shadowy social media presence multi-instrumentalist MorMor seems to favour hints at an artist who is keen to take his time, to cultivate his craft and build a following off of the music alone. He’s already got a big fan in me, and I’m willing to bet ‘Whatever Comes To Mind’ will make a fan of you too.