Easily, without a doubt, one the albums I'm most excited about this summer is Dead Confederate frontman and Diamond Rugs member T. Hardy Morris' first solo record Audition Tapes. When I lived in the glorious, music obsessed town of Athens, GA (where Hardy is based), I was lucky enough to hear a few demos of the project and got to see one of their first shows before I left town when the group opened for Deer Tick at the Georgia Theatre (also glorious) and was taken aback by the delicate beauty of the songs. Morris' unique voice melds gorgeously with backup singer Thayer Sarrano's (who is also a member of Athens band of Montreal), and Matt “Pistol” Stossel's melodic and aching pedal steel.
Adding to the aforementioned delicate beauty of the performance is the very cool fact that the video was recorded in The Rock House in Thomson, GA, which is recognized as the oldest surviving house in the state. The site was chosen by Morris as it's a part of the Places In Peril project which is inspired by the Georgia Trust For Historic Preservation's list of historical structures that are in danger and/or being neglected.
In an incredibly cool move Morris, Stossel and Sarrano traveled with renowned Athens photographer Jason Thrasher (who directs all the videos in the series) to ten of these sites and recording acoustic versions of the songs on Audition Tapes to raise awareness for the cause. In an even cooler move, Morris is donating 10% of sales from the record to the Georgia Trust For Historic Preservation, and while Morris has obviously been very successful as a musician, dude ain't close to rich y'all, so this is a very inspiring move.
Courtesy of Stereogum