Floyd, Va., native Morgan Wade generated quite a buzz with the release of her song “Don’t Cry” just before Christmas, and her debut album lives up to it. Reckless is due out on March 19, the singer announced on Friday (Jan. 22).
Ten gorgeously crafted tracks await listeners on Reckless, combining Wade’s ace songwriting skills with lush, but not overpowering, melodies. Sadler Vaden, both a solo artist and the guitarist for Jason Isbell‘s 400 Unit, produced the project, which was engineered by Paul Ebersold. Vaden’s guitar tech turned him on to Wade, after the two artists played the same festival; Vaden’s tech caught Wade’s set, bought her music and passed it to Vaden.
“It wasn’t two days later that I got an email from Sadler,” Wade tells The Boot over Zoom. He offered to get together to chat, and maybe to write together; he mentioned, too, that he was doing some producing.
“We hit it off,” Wade remembers. “It all just kind of came together. No one really forced anything. We just kind of played and the songs went how they were supposed to … I didn’t feel like anyone was putting me in any sort of pocket.”
Wade penned all 10 of Reckless‘ songs, but Vaden and Ebersold each have credits on some of the tracks as well. Wade and Vaden, for example, co-wrote “Wilder Days,” which leads the album and was also released on Friday:
Listeners will hear shades of Ashley McBryde — a tourmate who Wade says glowingly is “exactly what you think she would be like” — throughout Reckless. There’s also a bit of Halsey’s early alt-pop in “Last Cigarette,” a song that, Wade shares, began with the same melody but completely different lyrics.
“That’s really what I’m passionate about; that’s the kind of music I like,” Wade says, noting that she sees herself moving her sound further that way in the future, “but, honestly, that could change.”
Now 26, Wade grew up listening to bluegrass music with her grandfather, including weekly Friday night performances at the Floyd Country Store. While she isn’t sure, exactly, how all those early shows influenced her, “I know the small-town atmosphere [of them] and everything cultivated me into who I am” — including, she notes, the boredom that comes with life in a tiny town, and the drinking and partying that arises from that boredom. She’s now almost four years sober.
Privately, Wade was musically inclined from a young age, but publicly, she didn’t give her first performance until she was 19 years old. ”I didn’t have any confidence in any of the music or anything like that,” she admits, but adds that keeping her work to herself taught her a valuable lesson.
“Even to this day, if I write something, I’m writing it for me,” she continues. “It helps me not to look at what everybody else thinks as much.”
Reckless is available to pre-order and pre-save now. Find full details below.
Morgan Wade, Reckless Tracklist:
1. “Wilder Days” (Morgan Wade, Sadler Vaden)
2. “Matches and Metaphors” (Morgan Wade, Sadler Vaden)
3. “Other Side” (Morgan Wade)
4. “Don’t Cry” (Morgan Wade, Paul Ebersold)
5. “Mend” (Morgan Wade, Paul Ebersold)
6. “Last Cigarette” (Morgan Wade, Sadler Vaden, Paul Ebersold)
7. “Take Me Away” (Morgan Wade)
8. “Reckless” (Morgan Wade, Sadler Vaden)
9. “Northern Air” (Morgan Wade, Sadler Vaden)
10. “Met You” (Morgan Wade)
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