The Hollywood North Files – [CA]se Study #005 : Morgen Le Fae : Sweet As

Morgen Le Fae Rises from the Ashes with Debut Single “Sweet As”

Few know the therapeutic value of strumming a guitar by yourself the way solo songwriters do. It can be a pure sensation of taking flight above the surrounding rubble. And in a world where change is the only certainty, music can be the most transcendent solution.

Morgen Le Fae, solo songwriter and multi-talented artist is poised to rise onto the Calgary music scene with her debut single “Sweet As”, which premieres today on TunedUp as the newest instalment of The Hollywood North Files. A couple weeks ago, I had a chance to catch up with Morgen at a local Phil & Sebastian’s to talk about her single and her life as an artist.

Le Fae grew up in Red Deer and Medicine Hat after being born in the small town of Brooks, Alberta. She has spent the majority of her life diving into various forms of artistry, but the divine timing to release her first piece of music required an exponential influx of courage; “When I was younger, it felt really daunting, but now I feel like I’m unable to make mistakes”.

And her first release, “Sweet As”, is anything but a mistake. In the intro, a gentle synth and a phone ring form a blissful gesture, setting up her first vocal lines elegantly. She swoons: “Sweet as morning dew on a spring Sunday // There’s no need for two; I can find my own way.”

This disarming melody is a glorious way to officially launch her music career. The smooth acoustic strumming then caresses her craning listener’s ears in a gentle manner and sends the track in full motion.

There is also something to be said about the suppleness of her first harmony, during the line “yeah, doctor’s orders.” I am immediately tranquilized as this tune dances across the delicate surface of the indie-folk sub-genre that the production carves out.

When I asked Le Fae how the song idea came about, she professed “I wrote it during the pandemic when every day was spent alone. I was also dealing with a lot of loss and heartbreak, so being there for myself was important.”

I took a wild guess that she started the recording process with a voice memo, and sure enough, that’s how the ball got rolling. “I recorded a voice memo—I wanted an ethereal, lush, sparse sound … so I had a clear idea of the sonic aesthetic I was going for.”

Naturally, the next step was to have the song produced professionally. About six months after meeting producer J Tilley at a Calgary bar called Cannibale, Le Fae and J mutually agreed to work together and record her first single in his home studio.

Morgen exclaimed: “I felt confident communicating to J what I was going for … producing it in his little home studio was so great – I felt safe and comfortable.” They started the process with guitar and vocals, and then went back and forth with the fine details. “Shout out to J because it didn’t take him long to match that place in my brain … he got to it really quickly and demystified it.”

In the coming year, Le Fae plans to work towards an EP release, as she continues to see her future from a bird’s eye view; “I view myself—as an artist—from a high level”, she boldly stated, as she finished sipping her likely lukewarm latte.

Truly, music is not Morgen’s only passion; modelling, painting, leaf prints and crochet occupy portions of her bountiful tapestry. She is incessantly enamoured by the sensation and importance of self-expression with the intention of inspiring others to feel good about themselves and take risks.

After our long chat, what I wanted to know the most was Le Fae’s core artistic stimulus, and she unveiled her inner truths brilliantly as I typed a mile a minute:

“My biggest inspiration to lean more into art was hardship. I went through a lot of really intense change a couple years ago that redirected the course of my life. A long-term relationship ended, my parents’ relationship ended, I was miserable at my job, and covid happened … So all structures came crashing down into a rock bottom moment and changed everything. I  started going to therapy and discovered art as a healing practice. I always loved singing but having extra time on my hands gave me the opportunity to discover more of my talent and my interest in writing.”

In her book The Phoenix in Egyptian, Arab, & Greek Mythology of the Long-lived Bird, Tina Garnet writes: “When it feels its end approaching, [the Phoenix] builds a nest with the finest aromatic woods, sets it on fire, and is consumed by the flames. From the pile of ashes, a new Phoenix arises, young and powerful.”

When reading about this process, I can’t help but draw semblance to Morgen Le Fae’s story of misery and renewal as she discovered her need for a musical outlet in the most tempestuous months of her life. The Phoenix rising from the ashes may very well become Le Fae’s mantra as she navigates a budding career in music.

Whether you’re up early before the morning dew, or you’re going through some difficult change in your life, Morgen Le Fae’s debut single “Sweet As” is just what the doctor ordered. Stream it today on any platform and don’t forget to enjoy the view while you’re up there!

Follow Morgan on Instagram.

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