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Live Review: PREMIERE: Introducing Morgan Huggins and his debut single 'Nan & Pop'

9 December 2020 | 10:24 am | Emma Jones

Much loved Sydney collective Lovejoy marks their first foray into label world with the debut release of Morgan Huggins' own debut single, 'Nan & Pop'

Having already supported the likes of Moodymann, Jennifer Loveless, Tom Trago, Andy Garvey and Lou KarshMorgan Huggins is no stranger to the Sydney scene and beyond. Under Lovejoy's exceptionally curated eye, he's played events, raves, festivals and gigs, so it's only fitting that he would join the collective on their first foray into the wild world of releasing music. Coming in the form of 'Nan & Pop', his debut track also doubles as Lovejoy's debut, and we are beyond thrilled to be premiering this single today.

Clocking in at almost nine minutes, 'Nan & Pop' is immediately captivating. Taking you on a sonic odyssey, he creates an arresting but delicate soundscape, and with a thumping beat, acid synths, blooming and swelling atmospherics and samples of birds and water to ensure a strong connection to the outside world, 'Nan & Pop' is uplifting, nostalgic and glowing from the very first second. Huggins uses restraint and precision to invite you into an emotive, heartfelt and genuine moment, and a journey you'll want to go on again and again.

In an email to Purple Sneakers, Huggins said, "I wrote this song while visiting my grandparents for a week in Forster, a coastal town they retired to after a full life in the country. Usually when I see them, it’s mixed up with the excitement of seeing my whole family, but this time it was just me and them, and we spent hours talking each day. They told me all the stories I had heard before, but I also got to hear new ones that I had no idea about, and for the first time in my life I got a sense of how many people they had helped along the way.

"Nan was a primary school teacher, and she witnessed the effect that the stolen generation had on the indigenous children first hand, doing everything she could to make them feel safe in a country that was immeasurably cruel to them, but never enough. She went on to start a school for disabled students, where she was the only teacher for 10 years. She smiled as she remembered the young and bright faces of yesteryear’s students, remembering the good while recognising the injustice in the world.

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"Everything had a beautiful sense of nostalgia, and every night after they went to bed I stayed up and made music in the afterglow. They have been together for a long time, and it shows when they talk, as they butt in over each other and bicker about the silliest details, and that really influenced the way all the melodies interact with each other. One day I hope to look back as they do."

Lovejoy also spoke to us, saying they were thrilled to be bringing 'Nan & Pop' to the world. Jack Colquhoun, one of Lovejoy's founders, said, "Morgan and I have been friends for a very long time, and when we were much younger we were in a band together at school. Morgan moved to Melbourne midway through high school, and when we reconnected, a big part of what brought us back together was our shared love of music.

"Even before we’d started Lovejoy, Morgan would send me really early demos of the music he was working on, and I’d play them on shows I was doing on FBi Radio at the time. So, for us, I think we’ve always known we’d get to this point together. 2020 has been a difficult year to say the least for Australian promoters, and working on the release of Morgan's music really gave us a moment of peace and excitement among so many other moments of fear & boredom.

"I really can’t think of anything better to mark the expansion of Lovejoy with. Morgan’s sound has always been so subconsciously rooted in the way we do everything. The electricity in the air at the gigs we throw, the relationships we have with members of the community around us, and the emotion we can only ever hope comes out on the dance floor, it’s all here. We’re so glad to be able to share this with the world, cheers to the start of something beautiful."

A fittingly impressive introduction to both Morgan Huggins and Lovejoy's label, 'Nan & Pop' is as impressive as first impressions come. Listen to 'Nan & Pop' below:

Words by Emma Jones

Image: Supplied