Welcome to “Slept On Songs”. In this column, you’ll find recommendations for songs and artists you’ve never heard of but will definitely love. Whether it’s music released by an unknown artist in the past week or underrated songs by major artists that have passed under your radar, this series will ensure you get your weekly dose of fresh indie music.
Even with the diverse experiences each of us brings, ideas from childhood often revolve around tales of fantasy and magic. This nostalgia and emotion is exactly what neo-soul artist Thea draws from through her music, especially in her album “The Land of Nod”. Thea Morgan-Murrell, popularly known by her stage name Thea, uses her soft, slow musical style to create a kaleidoscope reminiscent of childhood.
This disc opens with the track “Inside Out”. The ambient sounds of chirping birds instantly recreate the feeling of watching an old animated children’s movie. With the comforting combination of her rich voice and warm piano, Thea introduces you to her world. The groove of the neo-soul sound and the R&B influence of the chorus make this an incredibly loopable song. The next track on the record, titled “One Wish”, reminds me of the songs from “Steven Universe” written by Rebecca Sugar. Beginning with isolated vocals, and joined by strings and piano later, the track gains depth as it progresses. Every song on this record is a throwback to a certain feeling we all had as children: being unoccupied and having the freedom to imagine magical, fantastical worlds instead of real problems. The songs feature well-written lyrics and intricate additions of instruments such as glockenspiel and harp to create that impact.
The third track (and my favorite on the album), “TwentyTwo,” strays away from emotional reflection on aging. It looks back on the good times and hopes for a brighter future while emphasizing themes of maturity and growth. Each verse of the song emphasizes the idea of living in the moment and not worrying about the future, something we all did subconsciously as kids.
Speaking to Helping Hand magazine about the album, Thea said, “When you’re a kid, your parent/guardian usually reads you a book before bedtime, letting the kid fall asleep thinking/dreaming about goblins. , fairies, dragons etc…translate this into adulthood – we don’t have bedtime stories, we all go to bed thinking about real life problems, wishes and hopes. not only nails the feeling she’s trying to create, but does so with the maturity of her poignant lyrics.The choice of instruments (harp and glockenspiel, to name a few) seem specially designed to remind you of the songs that you associate with your childhood. Combined with the lyrics, this instrumentation makes you lose yourself in a daydream, a sea of thoughts of the past.
Thea is the perfect artist to listen to when you want a break from the hectic nature of everyday life. His songs allow you to lose yourself in a world of your own. Her soft, soothing voice makes listening to every track an extremely memorable experience. With a catchy emotional narrative that is sure to activate nostalgia, this record reassures listeners about the future while reminding them of the beauty of the present.
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective opinions, reflections, and critiques.