Inspirational Talks is brilliantly off-kilter, experimental and unlike anything else. There’s moments of idiosyncratic pop such as first single ‘Phenomenal Impossible’, focusing on the mind-blowing moment when Lois Lane realises Clark Kent is Superman, with frontwoman Heledd Watkin’s robust high octave vocal sounding like a Welsh Kate Bush. Then there’s rock in its many diverse forms from the highenergy intergalactic rock of album title track ‘Inspirational Talks’, inspired by Tom Cruise’s misogynist character ‘Frank TJ Mackey’ in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Magnolia’, through to the short, sharp, explosive Glam-rock-esque theatrics of ‘Morbid Mind’. Tracks such as the Welsh language ‘Cyrff’ (transl. ‘Bodies’) takes on a more quintessentially British feel akin to Syd Barrett, but with a present day message of appreciating one’s body for all it does and not obsessing on its perceived superficial imperfections. Then there’s the English/Welsh language ‘Dai At Night’, which starts as a naïve, simplistic keyboard ditty before erupting into a quasi-operatic psychedelic rock singalong about a pub brawl. Album closer ‘(On Our Way To) Earth’, with its touches of Ziggy Stardust’s otherworldlyspace magic, muses on the possibility of escaping Earth for a galaxy free of Brexit and Trump.
2. Inspirational Talks
3. Phenomenal Impossible
5. Illuminate Me
7. Morbid Mind
8. Dai At Night
13. (On Our Way From) Earth
HMS Morris are aforementioned frontwoman Heledd Watkins (guitars/vocals), Sam Roberts (keys/bass/backing vocals) and Alex Møller (drums). Inspirational Talks is their second album following 2016’s debut Interior Design. The band have received support from Radio 1 (Huw Stephens), BBC 6 Music (Stuart Maconie, Tom Robinson, Chris Hawkins) as well as BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales among others. Live the trio have toured extensively and played major festivals such as BBC Introducing Stage Glastonbury, Festival Number 6, Truck Festival, Canadian Music Week, The Great Escape, Wales’ largest music festival Maes B and Green Man.
Inspirational Talks was recorded , produced and mixed by Jonathan Thomas and HMS Morris at Fitzhamon Lane Studio and Pontvane, and was mastered by Frank Naughton.