Layperson – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – June 30th, 2019


Julian Morris' incisive and emotive Portland pop project with sparkling 2019 LP, 'The Divide'


TC Superstar, Ancient Pools

Sun, June 30, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$6 ADV / $8 DOS

This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony Seating

Having doled out a handful of brief and beautiful EPs as Layperson over the last five years, Portland singer-songwriter Julian Morris offers up a sustained and fully realized version of his solo project on The Divide, an intimate and open-hearted album of crystalline pop two years in the making. Morris has a seemingly effortless melodic sensibility that lives in the unlikely zone where Pernice Brothers and Elliott Smith and Tracy Chapman overlap, but his debut LP as Layperson did not come easy.

“The project has been a labor of love, and I have had to be much more patient with it than with previous releases,” Morris says. “In March of 2017, after having recorded a version of the album at Type Foundry Studio, I scrapped everything and started over at home.”

Freed from the constraints of a studio setting, Morris dissolved the band he’d been working with and got down to writing new songs and retooling tracks he’d already recorded. “Basically I just tried to re-insert myself back into the songs, to get them back to the place where I had intended them to be,” he says.

Morris, who cops to a perfectionist streak that tells him he’s never quite finished, had to fight with himself to get his songs to the place they were meant to be, as if his process was mirroring the album’s lyrical themes, which are largely given over to what Morris calls “the conflict, confusion and sacrifice of long term commitment.”

Morris eventually returned to Type Foundry to complete The Divide, but nearly half of the album consists of tracks he recorded at home, where he shared his works-in-progress with the very person who inspired many of them.

“My partner is often the first pair of ears on a song, even when the content is 99% her, and not very flattering,” he explains. “The songs helped me work out some truths, and her ability to hear them and even enjoy them kinda blew me away. It made room for all the feelings to just be okay.”

It is a bracingly intimate album, a private conversation made public, but it is not solipsistic in the least. It is not the work of a self-pitying sadboy. The Divide is pop-as-commiseration, an arm extended to the listener. I’ve been there, it says. Been there in that place where everything overwhelms. It’s hard. Life is hard. But let’s see, it says. Let’s see if we can get through it together.

-Chris Stamm
TC Superstar
TC Superstar is an Austin based synth wave 80’s dance pop performance collective featuring chorused guitars, heavy synth and live choreographed dancers. The group, led by Connor McCampbell, formed in Fall of 2017 performing in UT Austin’s co-op scene. Since then, TC has completed two East coast tours, released two albums and is currently on a 6 week national tour. TC’s new album R&D, released in May, explores the complexities of love and relationships through the eyes of Ricky and Dana whose narrative can relate to the masses. The group’s live performance aims to promote inclusivity and freedom of expression through movement.
Ancient Pools
Ancient Pools
Ancient Pools is a pop duo that sounds like shimmering warm water. Crystalline vocals and punchy, playful drums cut through a flowerbed of lush synth chords and delicate guitar work. Each melodic part gives the listener something to hold on to and to remember. Originally from Olympia, WA, the band now lives in Portland OR, and is comprised of Anna Jeter (of 100 Watt Horse) and Kevin Christopher (of Oh, Rose).