Having released six singles over the last few years, French artist Lena Morris has now released her debut EP New Blood. Exploring themes of female sexuality, empowerment and vulnerability, the collection showcases Morris’ catchy soulful sounds and heartfelt splendour perfectly. Taking us on an emotion-strewn journey through feelings of anxiety to hope and joy, it’s a truly captivating offering.
We caught up with Lena Morris to find out more…
Hi Lena, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a Blues-Rock singer-songwriter-bassist. I’m a French 23 year old. I grew up in Hong Kong, but I’m now based in Brighton. I have just released my first EP New Blood, after releasing six singles. My cat is called Bowie, I’ll leave you to understand this choice of name. And I love cats.
How did you initially decide to start creating music?
When I was fourteen years old it was the real turning point where I decided to be true to myself and to others by finally saying I wanted to make of music my life. Before then I was very shy about it, even in front of my parents I wouldn’t sing. I listened to ‘Oh! Darling’ by The Beatles and it’s this McCartney song that was like a kind of wake up call. So I immediately bought a bass, started singing and after a couple of months I had my first gig at Hong Kong’s legendary live music bar: The Wanch. Automatically I started writing my own songs. It all came very quickly after this realisation.
You’re about to release your debut EP New Blood – are there any particular themes running throughout it?
Yes, definitely. In the songs’ order, we have a woman taking ownership over her sexuality in ‘Little Bird’. ‘Lonely Hunter’ depicts loneliness and love hopelessness. ‘Never (Is An Awfully Long Time)’ portrays anxiety caused by low self-esteem. ‘Phaedra’ was written after Jean Racine’s tragedy of the same name, it’s in the theme of sin and tragic fate. Last but not least, ‘Dance In My Arms’ finishes the album on a more positive note. It’s a song about comfort, hope and a journey to getting better. We go from confidence to loneliness, anxiety, tragedy to finally end up on healing and hope. I believe in our society there are still too many taboos about these issues and I don’t think this is healthy, that’s why I like to sing about it. I modestly try to untwine some thoughts on these topics.
We love your catchy soulful sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Thank you! My biggest direct influences would be The Beatles, Queen and David Bowie (yes, that explains my cat’s name!). They’re the artists I’ve got under my skin. With them and that we can maybe hear more in my music there’s Rickie Lee Jones, The Pretenders… Powerplay Magazine recently reviewed my EP and they found some Sheryl Crow and Janis Joplin similarities too, which are extremely flattering and I’ll take!
How are you connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
I guess like everyone else, I’ve had to become a little more active on social media, which does give us a chance to maintain a contact even if I’m not too crazy about talking/playing to my phone. I’m more at ease in a good old pub, where we can discuss and drink pints with the beautiful audience.
And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times?
I know it was very hard for a lot of people and I truly felt for them so I need to be honest as these times weren’t very complicated for me. I had the huge chance of keeping my everyday job by working from home. It sucks big time that we can’t play live or rehearse etc, but I’d rather focus on what I can do rather than on what I can’t. So, that’s why you’ve got an EP you can listen to today! A Covid baby we could say… and the release of an EP for an independent musician is extreme work! So, between this and my full time job, I don’t have much time to think about the situation. Also, even if I’ve been alone a significant amount of time over the past year, I’ve got great people in my life like my family and my close friends. Virtual calls are never the same, but they were good enough to keep me sane.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists that you’d recommend we check out?
I recommend you check out Rosin. She released a beautiful single ‘Honest’ on the same day of my EP (26/03/2021). I highly recommend you check her out cause she’s got big things coming up. I also recommend you to keep an eye on Daniel Borschel- he’s the guitarist and producer on ‘Lonely Hunter’. He’s got big projects he’s working on at the moment and trust me you would want to hear it.
Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for you, music-wise?
In the rest of 2021 I’m planning on going back on stage (fingers crossed). I am also focussing a lot on new collaborations for a new album. So a lot of songwriting, recording, promoting and gigging hopefully!
Massive thanks to Lena for answering our questions!
New Blood, the new EP from Lena Morris, is out now. Listen on Spotify.