It’s not hard to picture Flo Morrissey at ease on the streets of Paris, with her natural beauty, easy poise, and flowing, boho-chic wardrobe. And how could the self-described Francophile resist people who appear to understand her so innately? “A French musician recently described my music as dentelle, which means ‘lace.’ The idea was there are fragile, delicate, intricate details and beauty to it, which I really loved,” says the English singer-songwriter, smiling over afternoon tea in downtown Manhattan. She adds with a soft laugh, “The French know how to make anything romantic.”
So does Morrissey. At just 20 years old, she is already rising up the folk-pop ranks in her native London with her graceful, preternaturally wise songs, which wend the gentlest textures of 1970s Laurel Canyon bohemia with hints of chamber-pop orchestration and jazz experimentalism. On her debut album, Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, out in July on Glassnote, she croons with a dainty warble that suggests both Julie Delpy and Buffy Sainte-Marie, turning tales of faded love (“Sleeplessly Dreaming”) and confused wanderlust (“Show Me”) into graceful, farsighted paeans of optimism and potential. It’s a record of languid elegance that feels both timeless and startlingly confident for such a young artist.
“I get called an old soul a lot, and to be honest, I’ve always been a bit of a grandma; I get on better with older people, and I don’t really go to parties or drink,” says Morrissey, who lives off London’s beatnik Portobello Road with her parents and eight siblings. She credits her father, a Buddhist meditation teacher and artist, with turning her on to Bob Dylan and Neil Young in her preteen years. “My parents are so supportive; they let me leave school at the age of 17 to pursue music. They trusted me.”
Morrissey has been touring steadily since the spring, supporting equally precocious French-Cuban soul duo Ibeyi in North America and Tobias Jesso Jr. in Europe, but it’s her booking at Glastonbury this summer that still clearly leaves her in awe. “I’ve always wanted to go,” she says, beaming. “And this is how I’ll do it? Wow.”