The smart thing about this debut release from Morgan King is its mass appeal. We all know that the musical genre is a concept that has long been consigned to the tribalistic dustbin of the past, that the modern musician is free to find inspirations and influences right across the music spectrum. But few manage to combine so many musical strands in such an effortless and seamless way as Morgan King does on Mirror, Mirror.
At its core, there is a dark and tribalistic beat forming a platform for her to build on, to which she adds plaintive piano lines, various additional electronica and an intoxicating vocal. And although it has a minimalistic quality, the song sits right on the edge of anticipation, feeling as if it is about to explode into some sort of epic, alt-rock crescendo at any moment. The fact that it doesn’t, the fact that it prefers to play with tension and taught atmospherics makes it even cleverer than it first appears.
And for all its rock smarts and dark designs, there is something beguiling and danceable about it too; the constant click and clack of the exotic percussion, the busyness of the beat, all at odds with the understated music which runs across it. The end result is a totally alternative, underground dance number that will also appeal to fans at the gothic end of the rock spectrum and those looking for something new in pop too.
It is a song which is perhaps too clever for obvious mainstream appeal but that is where it deserves to be. It’s an exception which proves the rule, a Trojan horse set to infiltrate the pop landscape, a perfect cross-over single, one which is a perfect collision of subversive pop and the most alternative rock, otherworldly dance and fractured and fragile R&B.