L Morgan – “Blackguard”

L Morgan – “Blackguard”

When the emotionally charged, epically inclined Illinois indie band Bristletongue released their Femme Florale EP in 2018, we were smitten. The project landed Bristletongue on our lists of the week’s best songs as well as the year’s best new bands, EPs, and songs. They also got a shout-out in my thinkpiece about how 2018 was the year of the EP. That’s a lot of blog posts based on one four-song EP, but Femme Florale was that good. So it was unfortunate that Bristletongue never released anything else.

The band came to an end during quarantine times before sharing subsequent recordings, and frontperson L Morgan went through a phase of writer’s block that left them wondering whether music would still be part of their life. Now, five years after Femme Florale, Morgan is back with debut solo single “Blackguard.” It’s a bit softer, dreamier, and more electronically inclined than the Bristletongue material while retaining the former band’s grand sense of scope and intimate personal expression. Morgan has this to say about it:

There was a long while between my last project and this one where I felt that I had lost the ability to make music. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me or why any attempts to fix this block didn’t seem to be working. Within the last year, therapy has helped me learn that this was the result of chronic stress and a lot of old trauma. A big part of the healing process has been re-establishing who I am, and I really had to question whether or not music was part of that identity.

After taking some time to revisit the things that inspired me to start making music in the first place, I think I’ve discovered that songwriting and writing in general were some of the purest forms of myself and my desire to create, cognate, and really feel all of my emotions. This song “Blackguard” is actually the reimagining of a song that I originally wrote at 17 years old when music was still very new to me. I’m very excited that I get to honor my younger, more potent self by taking the potential in their vision and believing in them enough to release their song now – 10 years later. Sometimes it feels like it’s taken me too long to get to this point, but the tumultuous journey has really made this project’s fruition that much sweeter.

Listen to “Blackguard” below.

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