Some of the best pop songs are born out of tragedy. For Patrick Morris of Class Photo, his latest single “Hard Conversation” is a bouncy indie-pop song that tackles the devastating tragedy of the loss of a parent. Worthy to perch alongside the best tracks of Luna, early Weezer, and Imperial Teen, “Hard Conversation” is replete with jangly acoustic guitar, handclaps and breezy harmonies. But nestled deep inside the lyrics is a longing and outreach for understanding.
“After my mother died, I would phone my aunt, who was my mom’s identical twin sister,” explains Morris. “Since their voices were almost interchangeable, I felt like I was talking with my mom. These conversations with my aunt inspired the lyrics of this song. ‘Hard Conversation’ is about confrontations that need to happen, but keep being postponed because they stir up big feelings.”
It’s this kind of yin/yang dichotomy that is the backbone of Morris’ band CLASS PHOTO.Formerly from the hipster-hailed indie rock band STRFKR, Morris had an innate need to create and write his own soundtrack but couldn’t do that with the former band’s relentless touring and go-go-go lifestyle. Moving from the West Coast and off to his wife’s home country of Norway, he sequestered himself in his home studio and started writing and composing.
Releasing the insanely catchy track “I’ve Been Cleaning Up Your Room” this past February, his newly monikered “band” CLASS PHOTO made their debut to an adoring public. BUFFABLOGcalls the track “simple and infectious, a la Weezer’s early material (way before ‘Africa’).” We All Want Someone To Shout For lauds the track as a “hook-fueled power pop jam.”
Following up that single’s breakthrough, Class Photo is hoping “Hard Conversation” follows suit and builds momentum for his full-length which is planned for release in late 2019. “The upcoming album Light Years Later blends equal parts electro-funk and power pop,” he portends. “I started working on the album after leaving STRFKR in 2014. My final gig with them was Coachella, and I quit that band to start work on my solo project.”
Filled with power-pop gems, Light Years Later injects Daft Punk’s beats and nostalgia, creating a formidable synthpop/altpop combo. While most is self-recorded and adheres to a very DIY aesthetic, Morris did have a little help from some friends. “I recorded most of the album in my garage while I was living in Los Angeles,” he recalls, “and although I play almost everything on it, I collaborated with a handful of friends, including percussionist Billy Delelles (Shallou, Chrome Sparks) and actress/artist Jacqueline Kim.“
Poised to make 2019 his year, Morris is preparing Light Years Later for release in the Fall. But before he’s ready to drop the full album, he’s slipping out tasty morsels in the form of these two singles so far. If “Hard Conversations” and “I’ve Been Cleaning Your Room” are any indication, 2019 better buckle up.