Morgan Cameron Ross is a folk singer/songwriter and actor from Canada, and I’m happy to feature him on my blog. Originally from Vancouver, Morgan now resides in Toronto, and has written songs featured in Canadian and American television and movies, as well as for numerous platinum selling albums. He had previously been involved in the bands Bird of Wales and Bellwoods, but is now striking out on his own again with a beautiful new song “I Won’t Live Until I Die.”
Regarding his decision to go it alone, Morgan explained: “I’ve been in need of a drastic change. Music slipped away from me this past while. I’ve written with and for countless people: Grammy winners, platinum selling artists, successes, failures, talented and non. I scored my own Top 10 Billboard song with my pop band Bellwoods a couple years ago even. So why put out my own dark and melancholy music? I started out as a young kid running my University radio station. I listened only to old folk music and political punk tunes. I can still recite every single damn Weakerthans or Shins lyric. Two years ago I got off a stage in some arena with my band and the headliners were about to go on. They do well and have some hits but they’re also close to 40 years old and every single damn one of them were wearing bedazzled shoes. It was that moment right there that I knew I had to start putting out music like this song again.”
“I Won’t Live Until I Die” is a lovely but bittersweet folk song. The poignant lyrics speak to the lifestyle choice of focusing on making money in order to find happiness at some future point, yet not living in the here and now as a real human on this beautiful earth. “I won’t live until I die. And I worked hard my whole life. Lord I know how hard I tried. I won’t live, I won’t live ’til I die. It’s always then and it’s never now. So I live my life somehow. And I got money, but I ain’t got no soul. It’s always then, it’s always then, it’s never now.”
The song features smooth acoustic rhythm guitar, accompanied by just the right amount of gentle percussion, and punctuated by a fine electric guitar solo. Morgan’s heartfelt vocals are sublime, as are the guest vocals of fellow Toronto singer/songwriter Justin Nozuka that harmonize beautifully with Morgan’s. This is an incredibly beguiling song that had me hitting ‘replay’ over and over.
Morgan has also recorded a lovely acoustic version of the song, which sounds even a touch more melancholy. The beautiful video was filmed at Joshua Tree National Park (about an hour from my home and a popular place for filming music videos). I’m guessing the rugged natural beauty of the place is meant to represent a simpler life with a lack of pretension or materialism.