Andrew Morris

Andrew Morris


Echoes of West Coast 70’s meets modern day alt-country, mixed with stompin’ rock sitting alongside campfire ballads.


Sometimes an artist’s creative evolution can be painstaking and protracted, a process whereby a subtle transformation occurs over a long period of time and which can be difficult to pick up for the casual observer.

At the opposite end of the spectrum such artistic change can often prove to be swift, with a massive artistic leap being made in between two projects which are linked chronologically, but which prove to be miles apart from each other in a stylistic sense.

This latter – more rapid -– course of action has recently been embraced by celebrated Brisbane musician Andrew Morris, whose third solo album Union Bars is a stunning departure from the sound and feel of his previous, critically-acclaimed, work. Released less than a year after his 2006 sophomore effort Valleys, Union Bars represents a marked creative progression: a move away from the country-rock feel of his former output, a development which will appease his existing fanbase but which will find him appealing to a whole new discerning audience.

Union Bars was recorded over 12 days at the rural Victorian property of esteemed producer J. Walker (also the musician behind the wonderful indie ensemble Machine Translations). Walker not only produced the album and added the contemporary sheen for which he’s renowned, but the multi-instrumentalist accompanied Morris on 10 of the 11 tracks, the two musicians – and now firm friends – between them accounting for all of the instrumentation on Union Bars.

Walker is better known for his work in the progressive pop field, but on Union Bars he augments Morris’ penchant for classic rock and crunchy guitars with beautiful keyboard flourishes and little melodic hooks that round out the songs beautifully, transforming them into something new and unique while retaining the comfortable feel that made Morris’ previous albums so appealing to so many.

Musically Morris has progressed substantially – he did, after all, tour the world last year as lead guitarist in the band which was assembled to back Bernard Fanning’s phenomenally successful Tea & Sympathy solo project – but it’s in the songwriting stakes where he’s made the biggest artistic strides. Morris fleshes out his dusty Australiana with some more personal reflections and abstract political commentaries, making Union Bars his strongest lyrical achievement to date to complement the new musical direction.

A perfect case in point is infectious first single ‘Here You Are, There You Go’, which pairs thought-provoking, home-spun philosophies with some of the catchiest melodies to emerge from this country in ages. Morris’ organic muse is fleshed out wonderfully by Walker’s technical wizardry and perfect pop sensibilities.

But this song represents only the tip of the iceberg in relation to the impressive achievement that is Union Bars – an album which finds an accomplished musician taking his craft to the next level, and along the way creating a piece of work that is as endearing as it promises to be enduring. Sometimes change can be a thing to be feared, but Union Bars proves that when it is embraced and accepted, the results of such change can often be extraordinary.


Little By Little (LP) 2004
Valleys (LP) 2006, Rubber Records / EMI, feat. 'Let it Roll' which received extensive airplay
Union Bars (LP) 2007, ABC / Warner

Set List

Station Rd Tempe
Beaten and Blown
Don't Know Love Anymore
Shine On
Rattle the Head Rattle the Snake
Miracle Mile
Let it Rain
You Give Me Reason
Let it Roll