As soon as the fuzzy, 70s-inspired guitar line kicks in — right at the top of Hamish Anderson’s new single “Morning Light” — it becomes clear why the Australian songwriter is making waves as a virtuoso with a fretboard.
Punchy, bombastic and uplifting with just a pinch of washed-out psychedelia, the single is emblematic of Anderson’s sound as a whole. From the power of the driving rhythm section to the blissful way Anderson’s vocal melody falls over the chord progression, it’s almost impossible to listen to track without feeling a pull to bob your head, almost as if the raw energy of a band playing in a room together was coming right through your headphones… and, in a way, that’s what happened when Anderson was recording the track itself.
“‘Morning Light’ was done in a completely different way to how I have recorded previously,” he told American Songwriter. “Normally, I record live with the whole band and everyone on the floor playing together, but due to the pandemic it made things a little harder. While we were in production, I was in Melbourne, Australia on a 112-day lockdown, so I ended up recording my vocals and guitar myself and then sent them over to my co-producer, David Davis, who was in Los Angeles. He found a way to patch me in with the band at EastWest Studios so I could hear everything played in real time. We were able to have the bassist and drummer play along to my recordings and make it feel like I was actually there in the room playing with them. Technology really is amazing.”
That organic chemistry of the band playing in unison—even if they’re divided by an ocean and united by technology—is palpable on “Morning Light.” And, after over a year of no live music in the United States, that sound and the joyful memories it can trigger are resonating in a whole new way. In that sense, the meaning of “Morning Light”—which was written prior to the pandemic hitting in March 2020—has evolved tremendously in the past year, and the timing of that message coming out right now is textbook serendipity.
“When I wrote ‘Morning Light,’ I wanted to capture that feeling of hope that a new day can bring,” Anderson explained. “It would be great if people connect with being hopeful from this song. That’s the funny thing about hope, it comes from things you might not expect—like those everyday moments which, if you pay attention, will matter most of all. Especially right now when the world can feel so dark and scary, I think it’s always important to have hope that things will get better.”
Listen to Hamish Anderson’s new single “Morning Light” below: