In August, one of my friends from Colorado sent me a link to “New Safe,” a song by British singer-songwriter David John Morris. After a few weeks of not listening to much music at all (What?! I know, right?!) I finally sat down and played the song. I also sampled the rest of the album from Monastic Love Songs, released in May of this year.
“New Safe” opens the album, and I find it quite different from the vibe in the rest of the collection. A strumming acoustic guitar carries the opening melody. It is subtly joined by other instruments that blend in and diverge, then combine with the guitar again, creating a mystical, ethereal sound that is genuinely captivating, inviting one to step right into the music.
Morris’s Bandcamp site lists his location in London, and the notes in the YouTube post of the official lyric video identify him as from Cornwall, England. Other information about him is sparse. In addition to Morriss’s solo work, he writes and plays with two groups, Red River Dialect and Melos Kalpa. I couldn’t locate much on them either but am intrigued, so will probably look them up and listen.
Serendipitously, the day after I listened to the song, it visited again, as part of an archived episode of none other than Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, that old go-to of mine! It was a Song for Guy Recommendation sent in by a listener, and Garvey featured it during the July 25 episode.
I think I was so mystified by the music that I wasn’t really paying much attention to the words at first, and, granted, they are a bit tough to make out with Morris’s softly lush singing style and deep accent. So it was helpful to have lyrics to follow while listening this evening.
The piece seems to be about a man waking up to the pain held in his body, recognizing the only way to release it is through connection to water and earth, through his own body and soul. At the end, he has let go of the tension in his body and describes the feeling of that as being like the boundless, bright clarity of the ocean.
The notes in the official video tell that Morris wrote it near the end of a nine-month retreat in a Buddhist monastery in Nova Scotia, Canada. I think it’s a wonderful poem on transformation, written, played and produced beautifully.
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official lyric video for the song from Hinterground Records’ official YouTube channel. You’ll find lyrics right in the video, as well as down below it in the notes section when viewed on YouTube: