The psychedelic pop duo based in Cardiff HMS MORRIS continues to provide listeners and their fans with immersive pop, art-rock, and electro-pop. after their initial successes, they didn’t stop, but they continued to make their music and that’s why we met them! After the release of “Babanod”, “Poetry”, and “Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol”, HMS Morris is back with the fourth and final single in the series, Partypooper, released on November 6. The passage deals with the mental highs and lows of being a musician, but it’s actually applicable to any kind of human person in reality. All of us, in different ways, struggle with a small internal Partypooper, a little evil being who loves to ruin our happy moments, often leaving regrets and doubts. We all have one. We all treat them differently, but they are part of us; you just have to learn to deal with them!
YMX: Hey HMS MORRIS, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would describe yourself, in a few words?
HMS MORRIS: We’re a psychedelic pop duo based in Cardiff.
YMX: Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?
HMS MORRIS: Music is not optional in Wales. Sam was competing in national eisteddfods from the age of 5, and the music was a big part of the curriculum at school. Heledd’s dad was actually a music teacher – although she rebelled by heading more towards drama than Debussy. In that kind of context, it’s not surprising that loads of teenagers in Wales look to express themselves through music. Got to channel those raging hormones into something ey! Over the years we both fell in love with playing gigs and writing songs and realized it was something we wanted to do seriously for as long as possible.
YMX: What would be your dream collaboration?
HMS MORRIS: Tough question. I think unlikely matches are interesting and satisfying so I’d go rogue and choose an artist from outside our realm. I really loved the Kylie & Nick Cave collaboration – ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow, it was unexpected and really good. So how about a dark wildcard like Marilyn Manson, that would be an experience…
YMX: You recently released PARTYPOOPER. Can you tell us how that project came about?
HMS MORRIS: Pastille EP will be released on December 4th. Musically it’s a response to 2020 really – all the songs on it were recorded this year – so it goes from ‘normal’ concerns with Babanod (which was finished in January before the world changed) to full-on manic samba-escapism in Partypooper. Business-wise the release is a response to the way we can’t ignore the loss of record revenue anymore, because live show revenue hasn’t been there to paper over the cracks. We’re only releasing the EP on Bandcamp and through our label Bubblewrap Collective’s website, and asking fans if they can support us directly by buying the record rather than consuming the audio through streaming services.
YMX: What inspires your songwriting work?
HMS MORRIS: Inspiration comes from everywhere, I’ve (Heledd) watched a lot of films over lock-down, sometimes a scene stays with me for a long time or maybe a few words from a podcast I’m listening to while doing the dishes. Songs can come from something personal or bizarre otherworldly concepts, it’s most interesting to me when you can combine both.
YMX: We are all missing live music at the moment. Once on the other side, which music venue would you choose for your first gig?
HMS MORRIS: Jeez. It’s so hard to even think about live music right now. Well, I guess we would go one of two ways: either be all about bringing everyone we know back into the same space and celebrating together – in which case it probably has to be Clwb Ifor Bach doesn’t it – or maybe we’d be really excited about being able to travel around the world again, especially to a potentially less fascistic United States – in which case maybe Webster Hall in NYC, some legendary place like that.
YMX: What’s your band strategy in terms of music promotion? Direct-2-fans or via the “big dogs”?
HMS MORRIS: I’m not really sure what you mean by ‘big dogs’ but we use most of the classic social media platforms to reach our fans and most of our connections are developed that way so I guess direct to fans, we also have a lovely man called Aled who helps us send our music to blogs and radio stations, that’s how I’m talking to you now actually! He’s a good ‘un.
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
HMS MORRIS: First of all we’re tentatively beginning to put together a plan for touring next year, which to be honest still seems like quite a contingent, abstract exercise at the moment. In the meantime, we’re also keen to carry on developing a stage show we’ve been working on for a while now, about escaping from Earth. We were about to start the next phase of R&D on that when the first lockdown happened; terrible time to be wading into the theatre world! Also, it sounds like Heledd is getting bitten by the songwriting bug again at the moment, so there may be lots of work towards our next album going on.