Out today, Gurf Morlix’s tenth solo album “Impossible Blue” draws back the green curtain to show the mad wizard at work. More confessional than his solo albums have ever been, Morlix cuts some of his heaviest grooves with this release. To be plain, this collection of tunes makes the body want to be alive.
After a near decade ruminating over the loss of a close friend, Morlix has built a formidable funeral pyre affixed with totems of sonic groove to commemorate life in its most primal form. It is impossible to know the depths of someone else’s blue, though as humans we all feel the treble and bass of life’s vibrato. It is clear in “Impossible Blue,” that Gurf Morlix has been battling all the highs for all the lows that life has given him. There is a “screw it, let’s screw” sentimentalism running throughout, which I wouldn’t expect is meant to be taken light-heartedly. “Impossible Blue” owns its snarling sensibility with vigor, salving its wounds with more than a thick swab of remorse, dosed with heroine chic blues.
As the producer of this, and all of his other solo albums, Morlix is accustomed to raking in the sounds that he needs to get his emotional point across. Deeper tones and gristling textures complement his woebegotten lyrics. There is an intimacy, which can be heard on “2 Hearts Beatin’ In Time,” his second track on the album with Jaimee Harris on backing vocals. It is a slow dance that begins after a long day with much left to do. Two bodies sit down beside one another and begin the work of slowly unraveling. The passion is palpable, but there is no touching. Just feeling. The easy pocket of Rick Richardson’s drumming sinks the ear into that soft sofa, and allows one’s own heart to stop racing, and beat in time.
It is this physicality of Morlix’s sonic quality that is so masterful. He offers up the music and trusts that his listeners will know how to respond, move—even dance—to it. Whether it be a simple toe tap, or sitting motionless while staring forward in a fixed gaze, or cooking dinner with a light sway in the hips, the emotional draw of Morlix’s production keeps the body in check with the sounds that it is hearing. With this in mind, “Impossible Blue” dials in just enough 90’s sludge to find you chain smoking in an oversized sweater, and then shuffling off to kick your heels on some S. Congress hardwood floor.
“Sliver of Light” the fifth track on album, is like an early evening, barefoot-in-the-kitchen romance. The tones are warm. Warmer than is normally comfortable, and the walking bass line paired with the lead electric are playful, teasing—role playing the fantasy of a new romance with someone you couldn’t feel more comfortable with.
With “Bottom of the Musquash River” Morlix suffocates the heart with the weight of a thousand leagues. Looking into it, it’s hard to say that Morlix hasn’t lost someone to the sea, but regardless, to lose someone even at the simple end of a romance, feels just like this song. Hopefully what he suggests is true. Hopefully, Love indeed floats.
Aside from the critical and peer acclaim Gurf Morlix has received for his previous contributions to modern music, he has hit the nail on the head with “Impossible Blue.” Perhaps years of playing and producing albums for other major hard hitters in the genre has led him to understand the meaning of a song, or perhaps he’s had the chops all along. Either way “Impossible Blue” has a broken-in sound complete with a raw and unflinching humanity.
Find the album, and buy it. You’ll be glad you did.