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Love Letter to a Record: Morgen on ‘Trophy’ by Kate Davis

Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about how the music they love has influenced their lives. Here, 18-year-old LA musician morgen confesses her love for Kate Davis’ 2019 LP, Trophy.

morgen’s latest single, ‘Mom Jeans’, is the Californian artist’s first release since turning 18 and leaving home. It’s a song about body image and how our self-perception is warped by societal pressures and the expectations projected onto us. “People’s opinions shouldn’t affect the way you present yourself,” said morgen, “because you deserve to wear whatever makes you feel good.”

morgen on Katy Davis’ ‘Trophy’

I remember the first time I heard the album Trophy by Kate Davis. I was sitting in my dad’s pickup truck on the way to school with my black leggings on and 20-pound backpack. My father had been a fan of hers for a while and had signed up for some sort of exclusive deal where he helped support the making of her album so he got a CD. Anyways, the first song comes on, ‘Daisy’, and my little 15-year-old brain was absolutely shook.

I had never heard anything like it before. The tone was rough and her vocals were jazzy and unique. I was immediately hooked. Every time I got in my dad’s car, I insisted he play Trophy. It got to a point where my dad just handed me the CD one day because he had had enough. It didn’t really help matters much because I didn’t have a CD player, so I ended up just bringing it all over the place.

I had it in my mom’s car for a bit, and then my dad’s, and then my trailer. It was a prized possession until she put it on streaming platforms. And when that happened… oh, it was on all the time. There was no rest. It was like she was speaking to me, romantic to romantic. I felt like, finally, someone understood my feelings towards the idea of love and jealousy and how f’d up the world is.

Kate Davis – ‘Daisy’

Every song on Trophy spoke to me in a different way, as if it were the soundtrack to my existence at the time, specifically ‘Cloud’ and ‘Dirty Teenager’, which just encapsulated my desire to be loved and to fit in. Truly, Trophy became a very close friend of mine.

What’s interesting is that even though I am in a completely different place in my life now, the album still works as my soundtrack. The songs have morphed into different meanings – and I have now latched onto different songs that I feel resemble what I’m going through – but I can still relate to the album as a whole. It’s honestly the only album I’ve ever had this experience with. Usually I move on after about a month, but not with this one; it’s like comfort food in a way.

On a less personal note, Trophy also influenced my love for jazz. I started practising jazz piano shortly after, partially because I wanted to get better at my instrument, but a large part was wanting to be like Kate Davis. She really was my idol for a long time. Her choice of melodies and chord structure was everything I wanted in my music. I owe her big time – I genuinely wouldn’t be the same artist if I hadn’t found her music. She completely changed my music, and I am endlessly grateful.

morgen – ‘Mom Jeans’

Further Reading

Eluera: “I Finally Have a Clear Image of What I Want to Put Out Into the World”

Hoodzy: “I Was Going Out All The Time And It Wasn’t Enjoyable Anymore”

Love Letter to a Record: Mal De Mer on Test Subjects’ ‘Study’

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