With a Name Like Gurf Morlix, and a Cover Like This, Your Album Had Better Be Good

Gurf Morlix
Eatin’ at Me

Don’t be deterred by the spectacularly ugly cover art. Eatin’ at Me is an unassuming gem. Since the end of his collaboration with Lucinda Williams in the ’90s, singer-guitarist Gurf Morlix has produced a series of striking solo albums marked by dark visions and virtuosic, albeit tastefully understated, musicianship, and this downer-fest is no exception. Populating his songs with a host of memorable misfits, from teenage criminals to haunted vets to deranged lovers, he evokes these lost souls through a winning combination of weary, regret-soaked vocals and dusty, stripped-down roots grooves. But Eatin’ at Me is never merely glum: Thanks to generous portions of mordant wit and Morlix’s genuine empathy for his characters, it’s actually uplifting in a twisted way—much like a great blues record.