Heather Morgan sings like she writes, clear and strong, with a soft, hard-won sadness. Her notes and words drop like gemstones catching light: beautiful on their own, but transcendent together. It’s the kind of combination that silences noisy rooms and turns cynics into believers — and Morgan is ready to let it be heard. Morgan’s debut album ‘Borrowed Heart’ is a collection of moody pop layered with winsome country soprano, and it captures the personal evolution of a woman and an artist. Produced by Paul Moak (John Paul White, Marc Broussard, Caitlyn Smith), ‘Borrowed Heart’ is Morgan’s first record, but she’s no ingénue.
“I feel like I found my voice,” says Morgan. “My voice as in who I am, the voice of my heart, of myself as an artist, of myself as a songwriter. I’m confident, standing up for myself more. All of those things come together to create your voice. It’s exciting to be ready to share this part of me.”
A Richardson, Texas native, Morgan has written songs for artists like Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Maren Morris, Brett Eldredge, and more. Alongside friend Ross Copperman, Morgan and Eldredge have formed a power writing trio, penning almost a dozen songs for Eldredge’s albums, including chart toppers ”Lose My Mind” and “Beat of the Music.” Her dedication has earned her __ No. 1 singles and a BMI Country Song of the Year Award.
“When the songwriting door started opening in Nashville, I thought, ‘Oh, I need to write for this person and that person and stay in this magic moment that’s happening over here,’” Morgan says. “But I remember thinking, ‘When I have a hit and can afford to do it myself, I’m going to. I’m going to record my own project.’”
While her songwriting success continues to thrive, Morgan has always wanted to carve a unique musical space of her own as an artist. After spending days in the writing room and many late nights alone trying to find her own voice, it was a spontaneous trip to Joshua Tree that offered the stillness and soul-searching Morgan needed.
“I’d been eyeing Joshua Tree, thinking, ‘Someday I’m going to go there,’ but on a day following the ACMs (Academy of Country Music Awards), I thought, ‘Someday is tomorrow,’” says Morgan. “I didn’t have a place to stay or a car or proper shoes for the desert––just flip flops, high heels, and a red carpet gown. I think I had a pair of jeans, my saving grace, and I had a broken heart. The only two things I really needed.”
On the plane, useless wardrobe stowed away and awaiting takeoff, it hit Morgan: forget shoes. She didn’t have a guitar. “I had written with Jason Mraz the January before that, and I remembered that he lived just outside of San Diego,” she says. “I thought, ‘Well, he’s going to have guitars! Should I text him?’” She laughs as she recalls the story. Morgan reached out to Mraz, who happened to be at home on his farm harvesting avocados and coffee. Could she borrow a guitar? “He texted back, ‘Hey, here’s my address. You can totally borrow a guitar. I love that you’re following your bliss.’”
Armed with Mraz’s barely used Taylor and trusty old guitar strap, plus an $8 Mexican blanket, men’s plaid shirt, and boots scored at a thrift store along the way, Morgan jumped into a rented Jeep and drove to Joshua Tree. The next morning, she woke up in her tiny cinderblock Airbnb to watch the sun rise, then got to work.
Tucked away in an Airbnb in the middle of Joshua Tree, Morgan penned album standout “Your Hurricane,” a rendering of love’s all-consuming ability to invade us, expose us, and leave us helpless, and followed that with the fast-rolling “Highway Robbery” — an electric-guitar driven dissection of being blindsided by a lover stealing away in the middle of the night.
The theme of love easily emerges as songs on ‘Borrowed Heart’ trace Morgan’s real-life experiences. She wrote the songs on the record as she healed a heartbreak, and the result is a lush tapestry of real-time emotional snapshots. “It’s almost like I knew subconsciously that I needed to capture these feelings while they were happening,” Morgan says, “because sometimes you can’t go back to how you felt.”
Working alongside Grammy-nominated producer Paul Moak, Morgan began to bring all of the songs she’d written alone and with others to life to tell her story. “100 Miles,” the first song Morgan and Moak wrote together, pleads for space over subdued percussion and haunting keys and guitar. “We Were a Fire,” another early Moak-Morgan composition, is a slow-building ode to transformative passion, and the songwriting duo’s “Paper” is a tender gut punch delivered via Morgan’s pristine vocals and acoustic guitar: “You cut me like paper / You tear me to shreds / Your words are as sharp as a razor / You cut me like paper,” she cries, sounding somehow both accusatory and defeated.
Morgan also penned two songs with ACM Songwriter of the Year Lori McKenna: the title track “Borrowed Heart” and the poignant, “Arms of a Lion,” a song on which McKenna lends her vocals.
Baring all, Borrowed Heart captures Morgan’s heart in full. “Ultimately, all of the songs come together to create a stirring portrait of an artist exposing her own words, stories, and dreams,” says Morgan. There’s a vulnerability and strength on this record that I’m so excited to share.”