As Matt Southern has it, “In the Morning of My New Life” was a song that almost didn’t graduate from being a shower song. The incessant bad news of this year, though, gave the singer-songwriter reason to elaborate on the catchy, optimistic refrain, transforming a fragment into a cosmic wall-of-sound chorus.

“For me this song is pure escapist joy, willing happiness into existence when the world seems to conspire against it,” Southern writes. 

Southern, formerly a member of the Raleigh folk-pop quartet Magpie Feast, debuted on the Potluck Foundation label last year with his trio, Matt Southern & Lost Gold. In February, he released a solo EP, Ural Mt. Valley, also via Potluck. As a solo artist, though, his music still has the communal feel of a full band, with a lengthy list of instruments that he experiments with, including  the shruti box, mellotron flutes, banjo, Motown bass, stacked harmonies and drum machine. 

The resulting single, “In the Morning of My New Life,” would be at home around a campfire. The layered, textured folk—which bears a kinship to early-years Fleet Foxes—is tinged with harmonic hope as Southern offers an earnest suggestion: “Did you know there’s/a light inside you waiting for/favorable conditions to/make itself known?”

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