Marc Morrissette has seen the world as a tourist, as a foreigner. Years ago, his solo work was a collection of observations and memories from his travels, held close and shared openly like sepia toned photos. The songs were stripped down, which made complete sense considering they were born in new countries and lonely hostels.

Like most of us, Morrissette traded his backpack for a more permanent postal code and his songs have become more of a community than quiet observation. Octoberman is a full band experience and the addition of harmonies, tempo, horns and noisy tangents all add to Morrissette’s vocals. The band freely explores rock n roll, gritty indie rock, punchy pogo riffs and textures slow burners and as much as I loved his “solo” work, these bigger songs are a better fit.

That being said, it’s fitting Octoberman’s latest release, Waiting in the Well takes inspiration from the paperbacks you can find on the shelf of almost any hostel. For a traveler, nights on buses or spent in cold airports mean endless hours where books and music might be your only trusted companion.

Morrissette extends the plot of one of my favorite books (The Wind-up Bird), but also takes inspiration from the words of other great writers to frame his songs. This creative exercise lets us all revisit the books we’ve talked about for years and is one that Morrissette handles with respect. These books, and in turn, Waiting in the Well reminds us that “You are not alone. Even when you’re on your own.”

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MP3:: Octoberman - Dressed Up