What if a song could perfectly capture something so unique to residents of Canberra and its surrounds?
Lily Morris has done it with ‘Back and Forth’.
The 19-year-old singer-songwriter is no stranger to writing about her hometown of Braidwood, from which she finds a well of inspiration and draws coming-of-age tales and honest, wry lyricism.
“I’m not very good at being mystical or cryptic,” Lily grins. It’s a self-effacing aside that underpins a talent for sharing the everyday occurrences in her universe and a unique honesty in her art.
‘Back And Forth’, Lily’s latest single, is the product of those daily drives between Braidwood and Canberra – “most days a week for like, five years or more”. This swinging momentum has been a creative force for Lily, an evolving horizon of comparisons and contrasts.
Paired with a promotional video captured on a rainy Braidwood day, ‘Back And Forth’ plays as you almost grasp the twisted gumtree branches, the goofy painted signs and vintage Holden utes under covers.
Cut from the same cloth as the finest Australian jangle-rock, ‘Back And Forth’ evokes an important icon from her youth – Billy Bragg. “I always remembered the lyrics to all his classics,” she says.
A Girls Rock Canberra alumna, Lily reflects on her experience attending and later mentoring at the famed music camp empowering girls, trans and gender-diverse young people.
“I was already into a lot of the bands who were mentoring – I remember the first year I did it, in bass lessons – Hayley from Moaning Lisa was teaching … it was such a surreal utopia of a bunch of my favourite artists.”
From Girls Rock, Lily honed her skills and set her sights on bigger things. Since her first gigs in early 2020, Lily has proven herself a mainstay in the Canberra music scene, writing, recording, performing and jamming with other artists.
As many stories in the Australian Music Industry go nowadays, COVID interfered with Lily’s plans of playing music and gigging. Yet, remaining resilient, Lily released her first independent single, ‘Grand Illusions’, halfway through 2020.
Courtney Barnett picked up the single as one of her Bandcamp Favourites.
“I think she’s such a great, young songwriter,” Barnett wrote. “Grand Illusions is awesome.”
In both of these songs, listeners can tune into a scrambled malaise which speaks to how lonesome and deflating these last two years have been. Yet, Lily’s music remains hopeful and encourages you to take solace in your friends and in the faces and places you call home.
Braidwood’s continually changing, and the passage of time feels heavier as one comes of age. Braidwood, in particular, is lucky to have such an insightful and talented songwriter documenting its regrowth after floods and fires.
Lily Morris’s ‘Back And Forth’ is available for listening on all good streaming platforms and is available for purchase via Bandcamp.
Lily is a member of Undine Records’ artist roster and also plays guitar in Pat’s project, s.wells.
Original Article published by Patrick Johnson on Riotact.