Kailee Morgue is finding the COVID-19 quarantine difficult.
In late April, however, she released new music, something she had been hiding away—the EP “Here in Your Bedroom” featuring the single “Knew You.”
“I know there isn’t much to look forward to these days,” Morgue says. “I was looking forward to a couple of shows, and I know they’re going to get canceled. Concerts probably aren’t even going to come back for, like, another year. So, it’s going to be a weird adjustment. But I’m looking forward to hearing what fans say about the new music.”
The collection is a study in genres for the Goldwater High School graduate, who’s signed to Republic Records.
“I was just diving into different genres and seeing what I could really do as an artist and testing myself,” says Morgue, who initially attended Boulder Creek High School.
“I wasn’t even sure if this stuff was going to come out. I just wanted to try. I was listening to a lot of stuff that is popular, like Charli XCX, and thinking about how I could take what I was already doing but make it a little more modern.”
Her diverse inspirations are rooted in her parents’ taste. Her father enjoys punk and alternative music, while her mom is a little more mellow.
“I was really inspired by Sublime and the Red Hot Chili Peppers,” she says. “I know early Sublime stuff is actually really punk. Then we go into Gang of Four and Black Flag and even modern pop-punk stuff like Neck Deep.
“Then my mom had me listening to a bunch of random people, like the Dixie Chicks. With all of that, I can pull from a lot of different places.”
The EP’s name, “Here in Your Bedroom,” is an ode to her father’s taste in music. It’s a reference to the Goldfinger song of the same name.
She’s embracing her diversity and her love life on the new EP. “Knew You” is also a sign that she’s embracing her love life, which pairs her with musician Ricky Anthony, who performs under Ricky Himself. Initially, she admits, she didn’t want to indulge in love songs. But when the relationship came into focus, she needed to. She needed that honesty.
“I’ve finally allowed myself to start writing love songs and about relationships,” Morgue says. “I never indulged in this style before. I’d just gotten into a relationship where I was constantly writing about love and that dynamic. I was super playful but honest. I’m being really open.”
The pop genre is weeping with break-up songs. Morgue didn’t find it difficult to steer away from that.
“The negative emotions are always going to be easier to write about, and it has its uses like a coping mechanism; and people can relate to that, too, rather than something where songs are too happy,” Morgue says.
“Writing is a huge part of coping and just communicating something that feels hard to talk about. So, I think talking about happier things is great because you want to live in them more. Before, I was mainly writing about the fear of love and heartbreak, and those negative emotions feel easier to convey over something like that.”
Anthony and Morgue are quarantining in Santa Clarita, California.
“I actually just moved back to California the week that the quarantine started,” she says. “I’m living back over here. I just got a new apartment, and I’m kind of still in the process of furnishing it and getting all the décor. It’s been a really interesting process, because that’s not really a priority when you can’t even get groceries and stuff that often.”
Morgue had the option to live in LA, but she wanted a separation between work and home.
“I knew I would be doing music sessions in Central LA,” she adds. “I wanted to drive 20 minutes out of LA to get to a quieter area. It feels like Phoenix, to be honest—just the energy. It’s slower paced and quiet.”
The quarantine has spawned yet another new single. “Scream,” by Anthony and Morgue, is a sure-fire hit ballad.
“He’s been making music for, like, five, six years now,” she says. “It’s one of the first songs we did together, like when we were just friends still. It’s been really cool watching the process happen.”
Morgue, 21, says it’s nice to be with someone who understands her occupation and her dreams.
“At first, I was worried about dating a serious musician, because I thought maybe it would be too much music,” she says. “I thought it was going to be too much because our job would be so present in our relationship.
“It’s really nice because I think there are just some people who just don’t understand that super-close connection you can have with music. I’ve definitely dated people who just didn’t get it. It’s really nice to have somebody who puts more of themselves in music than I do.”