Morgan Delt – Morgan Delt

written by: February 10, 2014
Album-Art-for-Morgan-Delt-by-Morgan-Delt Release Date: January 28, 2014


Morgan Delt doesn’t reveal a whole lot about himself. The Los Angeles-based musician and graphic designer hasn’t done many interviews, and the press photo that accompanies his self-titled debut looks like it was taken in 1968: the artist, in hippie hair and sunglasses, stands in front of trees that look painted into the scene.

Paired with the Morgan Delt record sleeve, on which he’s standing behind wildflowers, the phrase “lost classic” comes to mind—something reissue labels and record clerks like to toss off.

In just one listen, it’s clear that Delt is running with this paisley-decorated scenario. He could easily be mistaken for an old obscurity. On the other hand, he’s got a Facebook page, so he’s not exactly Sugar Man.

Delt’s debut full-length, which contains a chunk of the limited cassette, Psychic Death Hole (2012), is an acid-drop homage to Left Coast pop-psychedelia and folk—the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, the Byrds, and Tim Buckley come to mind, even the Beatles in their Meet the Maharishi period. He absorbs it all, then lays his own interpretation to tape.

Opener “Make My Grey Brain Green” is a Dalí-melt of sitar over vintage guitar fuzz, a bit of “Kumbaya” with one foot in the garage. Flanked by slaps of tambourine, “Barbarian Kings” invites a good bliss-out, but a dark undercurrent in Delt’s voice can keep the listener on edge.

He’s both sweet and sinister—selling you the brown acid with a smile but ducking out of sight before the trip.

It’s easy to dismiss a song called “Mr. Carbon Copy”—he’s got the aesthetic down pat—but one shouldn’t overlook its intricacies, like quick changes in tempo, a trick he also employs in “Little Zombies,” where a brittle quiver gives way to full-pluck chamber folk.

Delt nimbly moves from lush to lithe, never getting too serious, and the result is playful and listenable to the point of hypnotic repetition—a Fab Four-approved mantra.

“Sad Sad Trip” plays on atmosphere alone and doesn’t bring anything to the set but a little authenticity. Instead, “Little Zombies” and “Barbarian Kings” best lay out Delt’s expansive ideas.

Like a leather lanyard with collected beads, Morgan Delt is carefully crafted: tinkles of guitar are embedded in static, as from actual tape in a home recording. His trills, multiplied, echo fellow travelers of the British Invasion. Delt has done his homework, but the sound here is his own.

Morgan Delt – Morgan Delt tracklist:

      1. “Make My Grey Brain Green”
      2. “Barbarian Kings”
      3. “Beneath the Black and Purple “
      4. “Mr. Carbon Copy”
      5. “Obstacle Eyes”
      6. “Little Zombies”
      7. “Chakra Sharks”
      8. “Sad Sad Trip”
      9. “Backwards Bird Inc.”
      10. “Tropicana”
      11. “Main Title Sequence”