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Why Claire Morales Is Denton’s Best Young Singer-Songwriter
by Jeremy Hallock | March 31, 2016
A solo acoustic singer-songwriter since she was 13, Denton’s Claire Morales put a band together and released her first album last year. The transition has been a resounding success. A recent performance at Harvest House for 35 Denton turned heads. People were looking at each other, wide-eyed over what they were hearing. Morales is a brilliant artist with one of the best live shows in North Texas.
“I honestly couldn’t tell from the stage,” Morales says when asked about the crowd’s response. Perhaps she missed the size of the crowd or how enthusiastically they responded, cheering after every song as if a virtuoso had just improvised a mind-blowing solo. She must have also failed to notice that seemingly everyone at a music festival with more than 100 bands appeared to have Claire Morales on their list of must-see performers.
Morales has a fearless voice that makes a dramatic first impression. She stretches her vocals out across hazy folk rock songs in all sorts of ridiculously dynamic ways. But as wild as her voice is, her enunciation is always very clear. “Prettier,” the opening track from her debut album, Amaranthine, comes out of the gate with a surprising amount of gumption. You find yourself wondering where she learned to sing like that.
Morales was in choir in elementary school, but that’s the extent of her formal vocal training. “I felt like it might change my voice and make it sound maybe technically good, but not as interesting,” she says.
ft. worth TX magazine
Check it out: Claire Morales BAnd
by Erin Lawson | February 13, 2015
Denton has given us another beauty, folks (pun intended).Dreamy, melodic, indie-folk rocker Claire Morales has delivered a mind-blowing album, Amaranthine, that will leave you wishing there were more than 10 tracks. The very title of the album gives the listener an idea of what they are in for, as the definition of amaranthine is everlasting, eternally beautiful and unfading. Morales’ vocals and lyrics evoke the kind of longing that leaves one remembering unrequited love and working through what it means to be human, to be an individual in a world filled with both beauty and pain.
Morales’ songs each tell a story, and while that can be said of most music, what stands out about this album is her ability to draw the listener in with the lush vibrancy of her voice. There is an almost 60s-like feel to the way that Morales’ vocals and guitar work blend with Ryan Williams’ bass and Russ Connell’s drum work. Morales uses her incredible vocal range to make each song different, while still maintaining the overall ethereal, nostalgic quality that seems to define the whole album. There is a hazy element to the album reminiscent of being somewhere between dream land and being awake...in those first moments when one does not want to wake up just yet for fear of losing the beauty of the dream.
Q&A: Claire Morales
May 10, 2016
Amaranthine is the debut album from Denton singer-songwriter Claire Morales, and though its official release may have been back in February, we’re thinking this dreamy, wistful record will be what sweetens the coming summer days.
It’s fitting, then, that the North Texas artist will be making an appearance at Summer Cut on June 3 at South Side Ballroom. Before that glorious set happens, we caught up with Morales about the new album, her hometown of Denton, collaborating with Daniel Markham and more:
KXT: Major congrats on your most recent album! Tell us a little bit about Amaranthine.
CM: Thanks so much! Amaranthine was my first full length album, it’s all about nostalgia and coming of age and ice cream and bad dreams and perfectionism and birthday parties and little kid thoughts. I was a solo artist, playing acoustic guitar up until then. I had been making music for about 10 years without releasing anything.
It was a big deal to get a band together and go electric and actually put something out in the world instead of deciding it wasn’t good enough for human ears. I think just getting that first thing out there can be the hardest thing for an artist, it’s really vulnerable and scary. But once you do it, anything seems possible. We’re about to start recording our second album and it’s much less scary!
Claire Morales Mines Her Inner Perfectionist on "Prettier"
by Matt Wood | January 20, 2015
Amid the clatter of diner plates, Claire Morales methodically eviscerates her waffle into equal-sized square morsels, explaining that she's trying to be a "cutting ahead" waffle person instead of a "cut as you go" type. As a graphic designer by trade, it's definitely not the strangest habit she could have adopted as a result. Reluctantly, though, the young singer admits that she might just end up being a figure-it-out-as-you-go type, coming to terms with the perfection in imperfection.
Coincidentally, Morales just today released lead track "Prettier" off her upcoming full-length record Amaranthine. The song weaves around a narrative regarding her childhood mannerisms and propensity for perfection, and is her first time tackling the electric side of songwriting with a full band. With her album coming out mid-February, she's primed to transition from an acoustic act to a tour de force singer-songwriter.
denton record chronicle
by Lucinda Breeding | March 3, 2016
Claire Morales makes music that sounds organic, spontaneous and easy, like Lucinda Williams or Shawn Colvin. But listening to the words to the tracks on her 2015 release, Amaranthine, and you start to notice a careful sort of habit, both about writing music and lyrics.
With a distinctive voice and assured playing, Morales takes a page out of Rufus Wainwright’s book — she cloaks deep, sometimes sad stuff inside of upbeat tempos and toothsome harmonies. There are exceptions. “Close to Me” is a more mournful, careworn song about wanting. And “Lie I Love,” a song about giving yourself over to comforting deception, is a howl at the moon...Morales can hold forth on all these things without grating. In her rock-me-gentle approach, those things that prick the heart aren’t just persistent, but poetic.
pop press international
CLAIRE MORALES RECORD RELEASE AT THE HISTORIC SCOOT INN
by Lucas Truckenbrod | February 24, 2015
Claire Morales will be bringing her Denton-based outfit to the Historic Scoot Inn this Friday and we really can’t wait. Supporting her will be local americana all-stars the Deer, KUTX’s artist of the month for December 2014, who also released new material recently. Reservations and Moongiant(OK) will be joining the Red Dirt bill of musicians. The evening will serve to usher Morales’ sweeping debut solo release romantically entitledAmaranthine to her southern neighbors here in Austin. Claire and the band make Austin a frequent stop and Friday night will be a gorgeous showcase of sweet country rapture.
Amaranthine sounds like Angel Olsen singing Jenny Lewis. She gets a sweet alt-country growl that warms up this Texas winter. “Waters Getting Low” rollicks in 3/4 time while Claire demonstrates her vocal control, breaking between falsetto and full voice showing worry and ache, longing and nostalgia. Dusty and new at the same time, her voice occupies an anxious in-between-ness of genres that glide from track to track; power pop, doo-wop, and country-gaze fill my L/R channels. Steady chord progressions show maturity from the band and their ability to develop an idea into sonic territory that occupies significant bandwith in an organic blissful state. I find sunlight easily when listening to Amaranthine. The album glows with positivity and forward thinking.