Matthew Morgan’s ‘Empathy for Inanimate Objects’ Proves Folk Doesn’t Have to be a Heavy Journey

Matthew Morgan: Empathy for Inanimate Objects

By Lisa Waugh June 7, 2015
Folk doesn’t have to be a downer and the canvas doesn’t have to be fraught with anxiety. Matthew Morgan can write the hell out of a folk song but you don’t have to be in a funk to take it in. At times uplifting, always truth-telling, Morgan’s new EP Empathy for Inanimate Objects spools out stories you can travel with or take in at your own meditative pace. Or neither. Just listening is reward enough.

Morgan comes from a deep pool of music and found his own voice after an illness. His music has wisdom without the lecture. There’s hope without the cloying over-meaningness that can sink a record.

Empathy for Inanimate Objects definitely feels like a record inspired by at least the whisper of Neil Young or Paul Simon. There’s a modern take that carries the listener along as though enjoying a well-written book or a satisfying indie film.

Stand out tracks are “Songs Like These,” “Hold On I’m Comin” and “When You’re Gone” where Morgan’ storytelling skills are on full display. The melodies bely a triumph within each message.

Empathy for Inanimate Objects is also a study in simplicity. Morgan’s approach lets the deeper meaning bubble up to the surface, bringing to mind a different thing for each listener.

Matthew Morgan is the storyteller the genre needs and deserves.

“Lost At Sea”

Matthew Morgan (vocals, acoustic/electric guitars, organ, piano, mountain dulcimer, harmonica)
additional musicians:
Chris Bosca (national resonator guitar, tenor guitar, lap steel)
Sarah Blick (violin)
Liz Chidester (vocals)
David Szpunar (mandolin, banjo, accordion)
Greg Byers (cello, courtesy of Christian Howes Strings)
Nate Lockwood (bass and percussion)

Empathy for Inanimate Objects Production:
Produced by Matthew Morgan & Nate Lockwood
Engineered and Mixed by Nate Lockwood (
Mastered by Nick Lane
Photography by David Szpunar

Empathy for Inanimate Objects Tracklisting:
1. Songs Like These
2. Hold On I’m Comin (written by Isaac Hayes & David Porter)
3. SticksNStones
4. First Day
5. Lost At Sea
6. When You’re Gone