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Peyton Morete - Album Review: The End To The Beginning

11 Dec 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant

Poneke artist Peyton Morete goes big with her self-produced album The End to the Beginning, a high-concept collection following the ups and downs of a life and the cyclical nature of the world. The record encompasses a variety of genres from cinematic soundscape pieces and acoustic pop to elements of rap and R&B, all held together by Morete's charismatic vocal performance.

After a misty instrumental opener, The Innocence is the album's first major track, lyrically celebrating the authentic joy of childhood. "You're a dreamer, fairytale believer", Morete croons, introducing a smoky and deep timbre that grounds The Innocence in the country-folk realm. This world-building of youth pulls the listener into a feeling of tranquility and comfort in memory. It's followed by The Experimentation. As its title suggests, this song is all over the place, where electronic pulses meet plucked guitars and gentle bass. It could do with some more polish and layering in the mixing, despite its interesting rhythmic ideas.

The Broken fakes out with a deceptively slow, sad R&B intro that quickly kicks off into a more upbeat soul groove. It's devoted to the brutality of first love, based around a slick hook playing with the word "broken" and melodically ascending to build emotion. Morete's intense vocal makes this a particularly memorable moment on the project, especially thanks to her smooth runs and impressive belts.

It's a great predecessor to The Independence, where our narrator discovers the worth of heading out on their own into the "real world to find the real me". Spoken word moments lean into a hip-hop sound. Some of the lyrics feel slightly clunkier and on the nose, given their laser-focus on supporting the album's overarching story and Morete's somewhat unnaturally accented delivery, but nonetheless, she displays a unique, tight flow that expands her songwriting range well.

With The StormThe End to the Beginning suddenly takes a surprising pivot into soft rock. Morete unleashes a bloodcurling scream, thrashing her belting abilities over wild, warped instrumentals. This song injects a much-needed boost of energy at the album's midway point. Instead of getting into the specifics of the situation that's upset our narrator so much, its lyrics depict the vague feeling of chaos and mental struggle, casting a wide net to keep things relatable and up for personal interpretation.

The Lull then makes for a darker twist, stripping back to layered harmonies and reverbed synths before its delicate follow-up The Loss lifts the sound once again. This number about grieving highlights a sense of fragility in its simple storytelling. Here, Morete's acoustic guitar playing is particularly notable, carefully picked, and making for a dreamy soundscape behind her words. When this lyrically low track gives away to the lighter track The Peace, which filters distant laughter and poetic spoken word through a nostalgic musical lens, it wraps up the collection's narrative in a carefully crafted feeling of closure. As promised, it all begins again with the true album closer The End To.... This connects in title and ambience to the introduction and sees the narrator reincarnated in musical form when The End to the Beginning starts over.

Overall, The End to the Beginning is an intriguing body of work that clearly showcases Morete's big ideas and initiative. Its goal of telling the story of one person's life from beginning to end is creative and Morete deserves commendation for embarking on such a massive endeavour. The collection's sparse production and mix unfortunately tend to hold the songwriting itself back, as there's a lack of general clarity and cleanliness to the sound, but each track is built upon strong melodies and rhythms that Morete's voice make feel all the more worthwhile. This is a thought-provoking conceptual piece from a performer we'll surely hear plenty more from in the future.


About Peyton Morete

Peyton is a singer songwriter living in Poneke. She has been performing locally in music events since she was nine years old and performing regularly for the last 10 years around the greater Wellington region. Her sound is soulful, powerful and contemporary with big vocals. She has released a handful of songs on all streaming platforms and recently released her debut concept album paired with a short film. All songs were written, recorded, mixed and mastered solely by Peyton in her home studio.

She has racked up a number of awards including Smokefree Rockquest Regionals (numerous times) and Kapiti’s Champion of Change. She performed on Maori Television in October 2020 as a finalist on Korihi representing Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

While performing, Peyton has been studying for the last three years for a degree in Commercial Music at Massey University.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Peyton Morete


The End To The Beginning
Year: 2023
Type: Album

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