Joshua Morrison: More Mantra Than Missive Morrison's gentle touch enables him to cut through rhetoric and get to the heart of any given matter. In "Kill Devil Hills," the young Iraq War veteran captures the way some soldiers view war as a step on the path to a quiet life.
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'Kill Devil Hills' by Joshua Morrison

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Joshua Morrison: More Mantra Than Missive

Review

Joshua Morrison: More Mantra Than Missive

'Kill Devil Hills' by Joshua Morrison

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In "Kill Devil Hills," young Iraq War veteran Joshua Morrison captures the way some soldiers view war as a step on the path to a quiet life. Steven Dewall hide caption

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Steven Dewall

In "Kill Devil Hills," young Iraq War veteran Joshua Morrison captures the way some soldiers view war as a step on the path to a quiet life.

Steven Dewall

Tuesday's Pick

Song: "Kill Devil Hills"

Artist: Joshua Morrison

CD: Builder EP

Genre: Folk-Pop

A young war veteran who writes heartbreaking songs about shellshock and homesickness, Joshua Morrison makes fragile, unmistakably human music that rivals the work of Elliott Smith in its quiet, tuneful vulnerability.

"Quietly cursing the distance under your breath / The spirit is willing but my flesh is so weak / Postcards from Kill Devil Hills to remind you / that I'm coming back / Yes, I'm coming back," Morrison whispers in the opening to "Kill Devil Hills." The song soundsĀ­ more a mantra than a missive from the frontlines; a quiet pledge to return and to trade "this war for a home in the valley, and this cold piece of steel for a woman to hold."

Morrison's gentle touch enables him to cut through rhetoric and get to the heart of any given matter. When he sings, "Now they're holding my golden years for ransom / and they'll never see the light of day again," it's hard not to feel the toll of war, and to achieve a better understanding of how some soldiers view war as an unpleasant step on the path to a quiet life.