The duo hail from Santa Cruz and San Diego CA respectively. They passed through Denver on their tour before heading on to Nebraska. We got the chance to see them perform at Denver’s A Call to Arms Brewery on January 19th, 2016 before they headed out. Thus far, they’ve played shows in San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Madrid NM, and anticipate to finish their tour after three months of travelling the nation.
While Morphis invokes the the melodic, acoustic folk of City and Color and Damien Rice, Versman draws upon the intricate finger picking of Elliott Smith; in some tracks so similarly it seems he’s picked up where Smith left off in 2003.
Versman has bachelor’s degrees in Music, Theology and Psychology and is classically trained in both piano and guitar. His influences range from classical musicians such as Chopin to the likes of David Bowie and Bob Dylan. Versman explores themes and emotions which can be often times over-looked or ignored in modern music. During our interview before the show he iterated, “through writing of our struggles, we can alleviate struggle.”
This sentiment can be heard echoing within his music and his poetics which grapple with our estrangement, our fears, and what is essential to our human experience. His voice carries with strength and prominence through his haunting melodies, harmonies and complex chord progressions. He is at once highly listenable and deeply emotionally fueled. His lyrics lead the listener to the confusion and the beautiful emptiness of youth, coming of age, and the desire for connection which we’re all confronted with as humans in a highly modernized, dissonant world.
Ezekiel Morphis is a poet, a lyricist and a musician. He tells his of life and background through anecdotal lyricism in a way which does not compromise its universal reach, resulting in tracks which the audience can connect with easily and assimilate their own individual meanings to. As a kid, he grew up listening to old-school folk artists like Cat Stevens, Randy Travis and Willie Nelson. His influence has expanded to include a multitude of genres-- from the skillfully crafted lyrical conceit of The Smiths, to R&B and hip-hop from the eighties and nineties.
For Morphis, music is an outlet which cumulates all of his passions; it gives him the opportunity to connect with the community through intimate, acoustic shows, to explore our human emotions, desires and needs through writing, and it fulfills his innate need to create and experience beauty. His recent release, Storied tells of his life in a way that is both alluringly simplistic and fraught with complicated themes of the search for self awareness, vulnerability and security. The EP soothes as it informs you of the nature of human experience and connectivity, or lack thereof, and the natural desire for authenticity.
Morphis’ EP Storied is available on Itunes here:
Check out some of his live, acoustic performances and his EP The Unquiet Mind at:
Versman has recorded various demos and is in the process of recording an album to be released under the name William Byrd. You can check out his recordings here: danversman.com
Authored by Kendall M. Morris. 24 January 2015.