EP Walkthrough: morgen dissects her intimate new EP, Unaccompanied Minor
The Californian teenager's latest release is a capsule of songwriting and reflections beyond her years.
Header image by Aidan Schechter.
One of our favourite introductions of the year came courtesy of Californian 17-year-old morgen, who we become acquainted with a few months ago via her then-latest single, 3D. Building from a string of singles arriving in the months prior, 3D seemed like an encapsulation of the songwriter's craft and the thick-layered musical intimacy that sits amongst it; the music laden with reflections and thoughts as the musician broke down her changing world, and translated it into hazy and emotive bedroom-pop.
"My music is currently bedroom-pop/indie vibes... but it’s definitely subject to change, just like the themes it covers," she said on her music, as we introduced her to the world. "Truthfully, my music is pretty much a reflection of who I am and what I’m doing and the people I’ve surrounded myself with." 3D brought a dizzying example of that, while providing a tease of what to expect from a greater EP expected later in the year, as she explains: "For example, my EP is about surviving high school and how tricky it is to be a teenager in this day and age."
Now, we're incredibly stoked to welcome morgen's debut EP to the world, and if 3D was a single that brought you on board, then Unaccompanied Minor is a release that will latch onto you for life. Arriving December 3rd, Unaccompanied Minor is a woozy six-track bout of reflection and intimacy that relishes in this upfront and honest maturity that feels beyond her years; intimate and stripped-back analyses on her experiences and thoughts presented to the world through often-subtle and sheering pop whose genres are representative of someone with a versatile and wide-ranging taste herself.
Across the course of Unaccompanied Minor, morgen injects every single part of herself into her art, from the "angst, loneliness, self-pity and uncertainty" experienced by someone coming of age amongst an ever-unpredictable world, right through to the backing indie, electronica, pop and jazz that brings it to life. By the end, you feel truly brought into morgen's world and the depth that swirls amongst it; the EP breaking down every barrier around morgen, painting her as a multi-dimensional and complex artist just trying to navigate their way through life's twists and turns.
"This EP to me is honestly just a six-song self-therapy session that covers my life, ages 15 to 17, over these past two crazy years," she says on the EP. "Most artists consider their work to be like a child, or something they gave birth to but Unaccompanied Minor couldn’t be further from that. Of course, I love this EP, but I don’t feel like I own it. If anything, I owe the EP for every hour I spent crying on my floor writing songs instead of paying to go to therapy.
"I used Unaccompanied Minor to help me grow through isolation, sexuality, relationships, trauma, and all that teenage bs. It created the person I am today...who is far from perfect but closer to who I want to be."
It's a remarkable and touching EP, and you can take a dive into it below, alongside a track by track dissection from morgen herself, who breaks down the EP's themes and creation one song at a time:
Odd One Out
I wrote this song in the middle of a global pandemic from my garage now-turned studio space, and I was severely alone at the time. I felt like I had no friends, or any close friends anyways. I just remember feeling so fed up with all the teenage small talk and just superficial stupid stuff that I genuinely didn’t care about but still had to talk through because those were the only conversations the people I surrounded myself with were having. Honestly, what I remember about writing the song was that it was super easy, probably one of the easiest songs I’ve ever written because it was so brutally honest and truthful. And the producer I worked with, Adam Yaron, was just so dope so the process was amazing lol.
Okay this song has a lil story, actually most of them do lol. Anyways, I was talking to a person at the time and of course it was all over text, calls, or zooms because we were living in a global pandemic and I just remember hating the fact that I couldn’t just go see them…so I wrote a song about it ha ha. I was so angry at the world and at the fact that I had to stay inside and be alone when I finally had someone I actually wanted to hang out with but couldn’t because of a disease that could potentially kill both of us… So…not fun.
I wrote the song literally the day before my 16th birthday which was hilarious because the entire song is about me hating parties and hating my 16th birthday when in reality my 16th was one of my favourite birthdays to date. I just think it’s so ironic and genuinely funny.
Savor has gone through so many iterations it’s actually insane. I originally wrote it as a piano ballad with a massive string section which then turned into a Gracie Abrams bedroom pop vibe which then turned into what it is today… It was a roller coaster. It’s seen so many different styles and takes…the only thing from the original demo is the lead vocal… everything else has changed.
Sunsets in Malibu
This song was also so easy to write, I think I wrote it in one sitting… Like under three hours. Most songs take a while but this song was so straightforward it just kind of came out. What’s funny too is that I relate to this song more now than I did when I wrote it. Also I had never worked with anybody my own age before, and the producer for this song, Gabe Yaron, was 15 or 16 at the time and it was so dope to finally be in a room with one of my peers.
Fine By Me
Fine By Me was a tricky song… Just like Savor, the song went through a lot of revisions lyrically. I had a melody but could never land on a concept I felt strongly about. I don’t even remember when I finally came up with the concept I have now, but it was definitely a journey for sure. Honestly, I wrote this song to convince myself that I don’t need to care so much about what other people think and that I’m fine being who I am….. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped it would, but it’s a start :)