Cashavelly Morrison is an Americana-Alt Country singer and songwriter whose newest album Hunger (released November 2018) has garnered high acclaim. Rolling Stone recently named her an Artist to Watch, describing Hunger as “David Lynch-style film noir” and “the atmospheric soundtrack to late-night fever dreams.” Following in the folk music tradition of protest songs and influenced by her West Virginia upbringing, Morrison’s songwriting has been described by The Boot as “haunting and timely;” Huffington Post calls her “honest, evocative, and intoxicating;” and Glide says her “lyrics paint an ominous portrait” of the dark underbelly of American privilege. With comparisons to Neko Case, The Handsome Family, and Townes Van Zandt, Morrison is a vital and unique voice in Americana music.
The crux of the album Hunger is laid bare in its title track, with its Wild West slide guitar accenting a violent vision of the vulnerable being hunted by those in power. “This song’s meaning is representative of the meaning of the entire album,” Morrison says, “that those in power who use the disadvantaged for their own personal gain are making a toxic, malignant bargain—a bargain that hurts them as much as it hurts others.”
Throughout the album’s journey, Morrison explores many of today’s most important issues, weaving stories in her signature mountain ballad confessional style. In “Gunmaker,” she imagines a crisis of conscience within a gunmaker whose craft earns a living that enables him to care for his daughter, even as it puts her and other children in constant danger. For “Ashes White,” Morrison takes on racism as she tells the story of a white woman responsible for the murder of an innocent black man. “Who Will Testify” calls out those who build their lives and reputations on a foundation of deceit, whereas the song “Sixteen” tells the story of a girl who mistakenly betrays herself in her effort to be free. Morrison is a master at taking personal themes and presenting them in a manner in which they become universal.
Blending together the traditions of American roots, the ballads of Appalachia, and representing a confessional gateway into deeply held values, Cashavelly Morrison is creating transformative music of our time who should not be missed.