Every time I’ve seen Rae Morris play she seems to just come leaps and bounds, tonight her solo gig at Shoreditch’s Village Underground is a testament to a summer spent playing to increasingly big crowds.
The venue is beautiful, a converted warehouse and is pretty much full to the brim by the time the Blackpool-born Morris quietly stepped onto the stage, bursting into opener ‘Grow’. It’s the perfect venue for a voice like hers, the effortless falsetto and vibrato resonating off every wall and filling the space. Having performed with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club and Noah & The Whale, her stage presence has grown into that of quiet confidence and endearing humility.
It’s clear she’s a talented writer; on the surface her songs seem like well formed indie pop/folk melodies, but there are nuances that reveal themselves in a live environment that pull Morris out of the pool of generic singer-songwriters. Think Lucy Rose (who, coincidentally, also sings for Bombay Bicycle Club with Morris) but with the grit and depth of Lorde thrown in – it’s a clever mix, one that gives her versatility within her genre.
The gig moves from slow, soulful piano ballads to upbeat electronic-driven pop, including Morris’ recent collaborations with Fryars and Clean Bandit. The atmosphere is perfectly driven by the Village Underground’s superb lighting, accentuating her beautiful mop of curls. Across all musical styles, Morris’ voice loses none of its charm and technical skill – her range seemingly endless and the transitions are fluid above the excellent contrast of choppy basslines and laptop beats.
After a two-song encore, she closes with ‘Love Again’, much to the sadness of the surprisingly vocal and enthusiastic crowd, who have well and truly fallen under the spell of Rae Morris. Honest, humble and sweet but with a voice that really packs a punch; it seems to me we’ll be seeing a lot more of Morris in months and years to come.