Athens, GA's T Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate, Diamond Rugs) is back with his third solo record. Titled Dude, The Obscure, the album is a work that Morris says, "flowed from a creative space I found at the intersection of dreams and reality." In captivating songs, Morris sheds the traps of ambition and nostalgia and uncovers the strange satisfaction of living in the moment. Even the album title, Dude, The Obscure, hints at self-discovery. In an homage to English author Thomas Hardy's novel, Jude, The Obscure, Morris reveals his love for literature, philosophy and poetry – along with a secret about his stage name.
"Thomas Hardy is my given name, and Dude, The Obscure is a moniker I considered using as an artist," Morris said. "The hat tip to the novel seemed appropriate for the album because it deals with doubts, joys, regrets and spirituality, a lifelong journey and such." Each song on the album seems compelled by Morris' desire to help himself – and others – conquer the void of everyday meaninglessness. It's an effort philosopher Maurice Blanchot described as the anguish of writing: "You have to cross an abyss, and if you do not jump, you do not comprehend." Morris takes that leap to find universal truth by navigating sometimes opposing perspectives within moments that change lives.
Morris beautifully warns us not to succumb to the fear of missing out that stands in the way of contentment on the album's defining moment, "Cheating Life, Living Death." "Every dream is an invitation/ To leave your love up on the shelf/ When you walk out every evening/ Cheating life and living death." For the sessions, Morris made the familiar pilgrimage to Adam Landry's home studio in Nashville. The longtime collaborators took their time and gave each song the opportunity to grow unaffected by outside influence except the magic that happens when two friends lock themselves in a smoky shed to make music, and a few pals stop by.
Within 11 powerful songs, the Athens rocker reveals scars and shares lessons from an indie-rock odyssey that has taken him around the world and back home to find himself a little older and closer to something like enlightenment. And just in time for a new journey to begin.