I came across Kailee Morgue’s “Siren” through a recommendation (probably because my Pandora playlist has all the strong female singers on it. Wow, what a sexy number this thing was! When I saw the video, I was taken.
So, I started listening to a lot of the singer’s other music and I found it resonated with me. Considering how much I love mythology, her original releases were very appealing to me. But her later music also hit home.
She may have signed with a major label, but I still find that she’s not on mainstream radio and a lot of people have not heard of her. And that’s why I wanted to include her on Untapped Sound.
PERSONAL/ PROFESSIONAL HISTORY
Kailee Moore is an American singer-songwriter from Phoenix Arizona that took on the stage name Kailee Morgue. She says she began writing songs at age 8 but wrote her first actual real song when she was 11 years old. But she’s been performing since she was 14.
Kailee first began posting cover songs on her YouTube channel in late 2015. Her most popular cover being “Spirit Desire” by Tigers Jaw.
In January 2017, Morgue tweeted a preview of “Medusa” that went viral. Later that year, Morgue signed a deal with Republic Records. A music video for “Medusa” was released in October 2017. She worked with producer CJ Baran to develop a final version of the song. The song really hits the points that Morgue wanted it to, darkness and vulnerability. After all, Medusa was the victim in the actual story, but people make her out to be the monster.
From that point onward, the next year was a rush! She soon released “Discovery” through her record label on the Medusa EP.
At only 19 years old, Kailee moved from Phoenix to Los Angeles to follow her dreams of musical success.
Morgue performed at her first music festival, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in August 2018. It is one of the Bay Area’s most prominent music festivals, and as an introvert, she was very nervous performing. Revelers say by the time she was singing “F**K U” Kailee was vibing. Since that first festival, Kailee has mastered touring.
She also released the single “Siren” continuing the Greek mythology theme to her songs that same year. She gets more control with the video and you can definitely see more confidence in her performance. As she told Andy Malt of Complete Music Update:
“This is the first music video that I completely thought up the concept for and directed myself. I modernised the story of the siren but still wanted to keep the underwater feel. While the video as a whole is dark and sexy, I also wanted to include scenes where the colours are lighter to give you a sense of innocence and sympathy for this siren”.
As an INFP (someone who possesses the Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting personality traits) making public appearances can be tough, but she has been able to keep going so far.
“Writing music has always been communicational for me. I talk about what’s bothering me. It’s a form of venting, and sometimes I happen to end up releasing it.” So her music is cathartic for her and she has mentioned before that she hopes it can be the same for listeners.
After her first national tour, the singer turned 20, came out as pansexual to her family, embraced her bipolar disorder, tattooed her face, and even cut her multicolored locks. All of these experiences informed, impacted, and influenced Kailee’s music beyond 2019.
STYLE AND INFLUENCE
Kailee says in her MTV interview that she had an aunt who pretty much had a recording studio in her closet. So she was able to begin learning at a young age. She has said that her early influences for musical sound were Avril Lavigne, Gwen Stefani, and Hayley Williams of Paramore. She even mentioned them in an interview with Frankie Dunn for i-D Vice:
“I would die to go shopping with Gwen Stefani in Japan. I would love to do face masks and watch movies with Hayley Williams. And I would love to just have intellectual conversations with Stevie Nicks and get to know her. She inspires me a lot with my writing.”
But her father introduced her to Blink 182, Sublime, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. She also finds herself influenced by punk, like Black Flag. The first album she ever purchased was By the Way from Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Atwood Magazine described Morgue’s singing as a mixture of light and dark “like a dream within a nightmare or vice versa.” I agree with their “dreamy, dark pop” assessment, at least on her first albums. I feel like she does grab a punk and alternative edge to some songs, though. And it seems that Highsnobiety agrees, calling her sound a mix of goth and punk.
COLLABORATIONS & CONNECTIONS
Per her own YouTube Channel – Working alongside frequent collaborator CJ Baran [Panic! at the Disco, Carly Rae Jepsen, Melanie Martinez], she has refined her sound.
Kailee Morgue has grown into her own skin over the few years since she has been discovered. That includes being open about her sexuality and her neurodiversity. In her release “Headcase”, Morgue set out to purposely team up with someone who could relate – someone specifically from the LGBTQIA+ community.
She found that partner in Hayley Kiyoko. It’s an empowering anthem inspired by her relationship with her bipolar disorder. The track builds from an airy sample of The Pixies’ classic “Where Is My Mind?” over glitchy electronics into a chanted chorus.
ORIGINAL SONGS or DISCOGRAPHY
- Medusa 2018
- Here in Your Bedroom 2020
- “Unfortunate Soul”
- “Ghost of Mine”
- “F**K U”
- “Medusa” 2017
- “Do You Feel This Way”
- “Headcase” featuring Hayley Kiyoko
- “Knew You” 2020
Before the pandemic, Kailee didn’t slow down. Instead, she has released 6 new songs, all part of her latest EP Here in Your Bedroom. I’m not sure which I like best. It definitely has a bit of a different vibe to me from her previous work.
Check that new album out here – https://kaileemorgue.lnk.to/HIYBVD
She doesn’t have any tour dates listed so far in 2021, but I really hope she continues her music career. You don’t get people who are this caring and intuitive coming around very often.
Billboard Magazine asked her during an interview, “Authenticity seems to be important to you — you’re very open about your pansexuality online. How do you view that line between personal and professional life?”
Her answer? Perfectly her.
“I guess for me, it’s just part of who I am, and I couldn’t really try to hide it if I tried to. And I know there are people who are queer and who aren’t as open about it, and for them, that’s more of a personal thing — I totally understand that. But I think there’s not enough of that representation. Like you’re saying, there’s very few people who are openly pansexual, and pansexual is really about complete fluidity. And that comes down to the message of, you have the potential to love anyone that makes you feel love. I think that’s not something that I felt intimidated by sharing. That’s okay to kind of explore that feeling, that it’s okay to be fluid and feel confused, because there’s not that many people that are like, “Hey, it’s okay if you don’t know how you feel. If you change your mind, that’s really important.” I wish more people were representing that when I was 11 or 12.”
Similar Sound: Kailee has a soft voice that reminds me a little bit of Billie Eilish, but her style is so much more Avril and Nicks. She definitely has her own vibe, though.
FIND OUT MORE:
As always, if you want to share more, or feel I’ve missed something, let me know by emailing email@example.com.