The Undeniable Versatility of Morgan Keller

Spencer Mullen
Morgan Keller, a sophomore at Steinhardt, performed The Bitter End on Feb. 3.

Steinhardt sophomore Morgan Keller captivated audiences with her acoustic set on Saturday night at The Bitter End — an iconic music venue on Bleecker Street. Demonstrating undeniable versatility, Keller played a mixed bag of original songs and pop covers on piano and guitar.

While many emerging performers are often reluctant to engage with their audience, Keller won over her audience with her witty one liners, but her powerful voice and musical talent were very clearly Keller’s areas over expertise, and were reminiscent of Adele and Sara Bareilles.

Keller’s opening song, “Society’s Eyes,” comes from her 2015 Extended Play of the same name. The tune is an inspiring song about overcoming adversity and not conforming to society’s expectations.

“New Hope,” a song about optimism and tackling self-doubt and cynicism, followed. With “Sing It”, Keller demonstrated her comfort on stage by encouraging audience participation. Although it was more light-hearted than the previous two bangers, it was still received positively by her crowd.

At this point in the set, Keller switched from guitar to piano and original work to covers as she performed a mashup of the Cranberries and Coldplay –– a touching tribute to the recently deceased Cranberries lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan.

Taking it back to the originals, Keller’s “Inferno” was an emotionally powerful performance about heartbreak and the despair that comes with the end of a relationship. “Growing Up” was a more humorous and light-hearted wakeup call to the emotionally stunted man-child, refusing to grow up. “Figured It Out” was clearly an audience favorite and garnered the warmest reception of the night.

Keller then covered two popular hits of the mid-2000s, KT Tunstall’s “Big Black Horse in a Cherry Tree” and Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over.”  Keller ended her set with her newest release, “The Wanderers”.

In addition to Keller’s inherent musical talent, her songwriting skills were seamless. Keller clearly knows how to effectively write a song that pulls at the heartstrings as she showed with “Inferno,” but is also able to write danceable, crowd-pleasing song like “Sing It” or “Figured It Out.”

Morgan Keller’s music can be found on her website and streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Soundcloud.

Email Spencer Mullen at [email protected]

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