Quick Chord: Williamsport-raised, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Morgan Myles’ new EP is picking up momentum
In her youth, Williamsport native Morgan Myles had a habit of singing into microphone-shaped siphons used to keep children’s airways clear. Myles’ mother recognized her daughter’s love for music and signed her up for piano lessons, but it wasn’t until Myles began studying at Williamsport’s Uptown Music Collective that she found her sound.
“Dave Brumbaugh (executive director/guitar & theory instructor at UMC) really pushed Janis Joplin and the blues,” Myles said. “He really explored that soulful side of me and everybody kept comparing me to Sheryl Crow.”
According to Myles, this was happening around the same time Crow released her platinum-selling version of the oft-covered “The First Cut is the Deepest” in 2003. Crow was considered a pop-rock artist during the late ’90s and early 2000s, but Myles thinks the aforementioned cover was like a country song. Whether or not this is indicative of the shift in genre norms, the now-29 year-old singer thinks her place in today’s musical landscape lies firmly in the country.
“Maybe back in the ’90s when I was growing up I wouldn’t be country, but in today’s world I’m definitely country,” Myles said. “I don’t think I’m in any way pop anymore, but I don’t think I’ve changed my style at all. I’ve always been this soul and country-type voice. I’ve always had a soulful voice and it has been very blues-based but I think now country is where it belongs.”
After finding her inner-Sheryl Crow, the Loyalslock Township High School student began taking weekend trips to New York City with her mother to put demos in the hands of music industry decision makers. Some of those demos found their way to a decision maker at Sony Music Nashville, and at his urging, Myles transferred from Berklee College of Music in Boston to Nashville’s Belmont University.
She released her first solo full-length (which was entirely self-written) in 2009 and hit the road soon after to hone her live skills. She released a self-produced, self-titled EP in 2013 and returned to Williamsport’s Community Arts Center in 2014 to perform her songs with Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra. According to Myles, her writing style is tied to what she needs from her songs during live performances.
“Every point of the song has to be something I can relate to so that when I’m performing it live I know to go to that situation and sing it truly,” Myles said. “A song is a movie in three minutes so anything I want to say, whatever feeling I want to get across to fans or myself, has to be done in three minutes.”
Myles recorded a new EP in 2015 called “Miss Morgan Myles,” which received favorable attention from Music Row Magazine, Taste of Country and Country Music Television upon its release earlier this month and has been featured under iTunes’ spotlight section under new artists, new music and spotlight on women.
“I am so through the roof about this; I’m still pinching myself,” Myles said. “I have no label and no management company; I think social media has been a big help because I’m able to really relate to my fans. It’s a free thing and it’s personal. I think that’s the only way that we’ve really pushed that.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
“Miss Morgan Myles” is available now on iTunes and Spotify. Relate to Myles at Facebook.com/morgan.myles or @MorganMylesLIVE on Twitter.