The barrel piano comes to life and you’re immediately in a rural hostelry a 100 years ago, merrily drinking ale and listening to the music coming from the smartly dressed band on the tiny stage in the corner. The sound fights for attention through the smoke filled room and the noise of drunken revellers until at last everyone stops and slowly turns to listen to that lovely, lovely sound.
This is ‘Dracula’s Toothache‘, the debut single from Organ Morgan, which is out now via new London Folk collective, Broadside Hacks. The band is named after the musically obsessed dreamer and church organ player from Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood and is the brainchild of Harris McMillan and Frank Wright. ‘Dracula’s Toothache’ is a perfect introduction, the smart title conjuring up the angst of ageing and reflecting on one’s changing self. The song builds from the sound of a piano finding it’s feet to a rustic sound with vocals that are soft and choir-like which swoop beautifully in the second half of the song. It’s a phenomenally good debut and weaves carefully between ageless and contemporary. Speaking about the track, McMillan says:
“The song came from some unpleasant realisations I had about getting older – I noticed I’d shed many parts of my life that I’d always considered integral, and kept other parts that I’d rather have lost. I found the most reliable image I had of myself was in the way others saw me – it can be difficult to live outside those expectations.”
McMillan formed the group as a vehicle for a bunch of material, some complete and some half finished, and the persona of Organ Morgan has been hewn during five years of folk nights. The band is now a five-piece and comprises Boz Martin-Jones, Frank Wright, Maggie Forés and Harris McMillan, old friends from nearby villages, and is completed by Stefano Amoretti of Genova. The pianos, accordions and other rustic instruments play a strong role in the song, another voice and not just an accompaniment. A fine debut from a band which are full of promise.
The band are launching the single at a seated, socially-distanced show on Wednesday 19th May at London’s MOTH Club.