Julian Morris is already well known locally for his work with the band Little Star, where he shares vocals and holds down the rock group’s shifty rhythm section on bass (PBS even profiled his life as a transgender musician in 2016). Morris’ work in that band — with its flair for off-kilter and complex arrangements — has often hinted at the ability to carry a project, but he full-throatedly confirms this on the full-length debut of his solo project, Layperson. That album, “The Divide,” is out via Good Cheer Records on March, 29.
Layperson’s new single, “Somebody Already Knows,” emphatically hammers home that point and expands beyond it with soulful vocals and an infectious chorus that truly embraces hooks. It’s a real breakout performance.
Morris is obviously a fan of classic sounds. It shines through here, with guitar work that owes much to the proto-punk of Television as well as more well-known rock of the 70s along with earnest, crooning vocals that would feel right at home in a Tracy Chapman or Cat Stevens folk pop song.
Layperson plays a CD release show at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR on March 31.