Athens, Georgia, native Jacob Morris has been a big part of that town’s thriving music scene, playing with the likes of Vic Chesnutt and Patterson Hood. His varied experience in the music world informs the different sounds that make up his solo record, Moths. You can feel the sweet psych-pop of Elephant 6 bands on opener “Sidewind” or the smooth glow of “Glass”. Morris also taps into the shadowy folk troubadour vibe on the soft, melancholy “Spiders” and then morphs that into boozy alt-country on “Dusty”. Morris deftly moves between these sounds and crafts airtight melodies at the same time, making Moths a pleasant and often striking pop record.
As a musician, Morris is capable of living in these established musical spaces, but the best parts of the record feel personal to only him. Even when it’s just moonlight that lets him “see you dancing in your room”, there’s an honest creak in his voice that comes off as convincing. Much of the record, though, finds Morris doing what he does well while at the same time trying to find his own voice. The aimless heartache of “Landscapes”, for instance, feels like rote singer-songwriter fare, something Morris is better than but hasn’t quite outgrown yet on Moths. But watch out for when he does.