Morgan Wade says she’s already working on the follow-up to her breakthrough debut Reckless, which was produced by 400 Unit guitarist Sadler Vaden and released earlier in 2021. The Virginia native was interviewed and then performed a short set on Rolling Stone’s Twitch on Tuesday.
Wade cited a handful of stylistic mavericks as her current musical inspirations.
“There’s three right now — Lana Del Ray being a big one. I frickin’ love her, man,” Wade says in response to RS Twitch host Tia Hill’s question. “Jessie Reyez is amazing. And Miley Cyrus. They’re all really powerful women that are so brutally honest. All three different but I love that they say whatever they’re thinking when they’re thinking. That’s what I strive to do.”
Wade also discussed learning to co-write through the process of making Reckless, getting used to writing her songs to full tracks, and the inevitable evolution of her artistry between Reckless and the next project.
“Some of the newer stuff that hasn’t been released yet that I’ve worked on is pretty different from the other stuff, and it’s evolving,” Wade says. “And I love that because I grew up listening to Elvis and more pop, soul, rock, whatever. Music is blending, genres are becoming meaningless anymore, and I like that. Look at Miley Cyrus, she can put out a country song and then she can put out a cover of ‘Zombie’ and frickin’ kill it.”
The muscular country-rock of Reckless showcased the gritty singer-songwriter aspect of Wade, which she recreated on Twitch with an acoustic set of songs including “Other Side,” “Take Me Away,” “The Night,” and “Wilder Days.” During her interview, Wade also talked about wrestling with what she was allowed to try artistically (“I was like, ‘You can’t do this kind of music or this kind of music’ — now I’m like, ‘Why can’t I?'”) and acknowledged that her new work might be a more genre-fluid experience.
“Have you already started exploring and making songs in that lane?” Hill asks, receiving a big grin and head nod in the affirmative.
“The word ‘pop’ doesn’t have to scare you. I say ‘pop music’ and some people are like, ‘Aw, she’s selling out.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m evolving,'” Wade said. “I understand. You cling to something because you find it and you love it. But I’m more interested in growing and being more than just a girl with a guitar.”