For most of his life, Morgan Delt has been quietly making music. Unlike others, Delt has rarely let what's created out for the masses to hear. In 2013, he released Psychedelic Death Hole on cassette before the formal release in 2014 via Trouble In Mind, and the sound is exactly as kaleidoscopic and hazy as one would expect. He also caught the attention of fellow psych rockers the Flaming Lips who brought him on tour and to record with them.
“It was scary getting up in front of so many people,” he recalls. “Our first show with them was like our sixth show ever.”
Since then, he's signed to Sub Pop and is working on a follow-up album. But first, Delt has a few live shows upcoming, like at the Observatory this weekend for the Indigo Music Fest. We caught up with him to hear about his new album, Sub Pop and why he enjoys working as a one-man wolfpack.
So you're in between albums right now?
I'm just playing shows locally and a few things up the West Coast. I'm working on the next album which will hopefully come out this year.
How's it coming and how does it sound with comparison to the first album?
Pretty good. I'm probably about halfway there. I'm still in the middle of it and it's hard to say. I think it's going to be a slight evolution from the previous one, but pretty much in the same spirit.
Are you producing it yourself again? Do you find it easier this way as opposed to working with an outside producer?
I'm doing it all myself again. I record at home on my computer. I like working alone and I'm not so great at working with other people. I've never been into a real studio or anything like that so it's all I know how to do. I like the process of doing everything myself it feels more like a personal thing, like a painting or writing a book. It's just one person's vision and you can get totally lost in what you want to do. Obviously it's a completely different thing than working with a band and collaborating with people, but I don't think it's the worst thing. I think it's just a different way to work and it wasn't always possible to do before. But now, it's so easy to do that it creates a whole new way to make records.
Speaking of collaborations, how did you get signed to Sub Pop?
The guy at Sub Pop emailed me about a year ago when my single first came on Trouble in Mind before the album was actually out. He said he liked what I was doing and I kept in touch with them. Eventually they wanted to sign me and I was pretty shocked. It wasn't really anything I pursued. When he first wrote me, I thought he was curious about my music and they would never sign me. It all just kind of happened and it was pretty surprising.
For someone in their mid-30s, pursuing music as more than hobby would have likely happened already.
Yeah, that's why I was shocked. I didn't think a label would sign somebody my age. I've always been recording music by myself. I guess going back to the working-by-yourself thing, that's the downside of it. When you're trying to do something on your own it takes a really long time to get to a decent level. I've been recording stuff by myself on a cassette 4-track since I was 15 so it took me 20 years to get to a point where people would want to listen to what I was doing. It's not that I suddenly decided I was going to do this, I've been trying to do it but I was finally able to make something that actually seemed to appeal to people.
Daniel Kohn is a writer based in Southern California. With bylines in an assortment of outlets, Kohn primarily specializes in music with other interests ranging from sports to food. As a transplant, Kohn loves the beautiful weather and is glad he no longer has to deal with brutal winters. If you see him, say hi and of course, he’s always willing to down a beer or two…if you’re paying.