Andrew Morris Andrew Morris was part of Brisbane rock band Palladium before branching out to embark on a solo career. In 2004 he released his debut album, Little by Little, to critical acclaim on his own label, Soul Arch Records. Morris toured the album widely across Austalia with his backing band The Dry Bones, playing with the likes of Tim Rogers and Bernard Fanning and appearing at significant festivals. The Magoo-produced album Valleys followed in 2006, and Morris received increased attention and air-play around the country. He bunkered up in the studio with J Walker, of Machine Translations fame, for the album Union Bars in 2007. The pair played all the instruments on the album, with Walker producing the result.
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.
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.