Morgan Munroe is another voice amongst the new generation of R&B singers. The Leicester-born, London-based singer/songwriter recently released her latest EP, Elvira, which is inspired by the leading lady of the 1993 film Scarface. Given the album’s inspiration, it’s no surprise the project narrates a toxic love story. But Munroe explores much more than toxic love, experimenting with masculine and feminine energy, role reversal, and self-reflection. All of these elements perfectly meld together to produce an empowering body of work that places emotional vulnerability at its centre.
Elvira’s release was coupled with the release of a short film under the same title. Directed by Nzimah Akpan, the screenplay is co-written by Munroe herself and Eosa Uwaifo. The songstress stars as the protagonist and plays out the story of Don’t Roll With Me in the light-hearted setting of a bright, funky bar. In the more dramatic visualisation of Endgame, viewers follow her as her outfits tether between a cocktail dress and funeral attire - seemingly straddling two worlds - as she serenades herself in a fine mansion.
“Elvira is the odyssey of a toxic love story played out from start to finish. It’s 9 songs about love and heartbreak offered to the world. But these ones are from a completely different angle.”
Munroe’s impeccable and soulful vocals float on smooth, melodic beats, as she perfectly blends classic and contemporary R&B. There’s something for everyone on this 9-track EP as the songstress details the all too relatable tales of a situationship gone sour.
Production can mostly be credited to TJ2 Percent who has also worked with the likes of UK rap collective Vibbar and previous Mercury Prize nominee Ghetts. The project showcases TJ2’s softer, more instrumental-focused beats, which contrasts perfectly with Munroe’s fiery lyrics.
Lead singles Mutual, Space and Endgame fulfil their role as an enticing snapshot of the EP’s themes and Munroe’s musical persona. Her soft yet faultless vocals on Mutual depict the breakdown of a relationship that neither party wants to walk away from. Then on Space, she’s more relaxed and playful. While Endgame, a personal favourite from the EP, sees Munroe’s assertive lyrics play out over a bass-heavy track, and leans into her sultry vocals.
As the themes of love, heartbreak, and identity intertwine throughout Munroe’s EP, it feels as though we are placed somewhere between an uplifting chat with the girls and a dramatic Hollywood movie playing out through our headphones. For now, as we wait to see more from singer/songwriter Morgan Munroe, her smooth, passionate sound on Elvira is the perfect playlist for one of these warm summer days.