Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Morby’

Oh My God

Kevin Morby has been thinking about God. If you’re a fan of the Kansas City-raised songwriter, you’re probably already aware of this. On his first four solo LPs, Morby has riddled his lyrics with allusions and questions, never quite discovering what sort of universal presence he’s engaging with. On his latest album, “Oh My God”, Morby presents the logical conclusion of this investigation. Not only it is his deepest dive into a metaphysical pulse, but it’s also his most stunning and brilliant record. With Oh My God , Morby swings for the fences with abandon and excitement.

The album begins with the title track, and after a brief word of encouragement from co-producer Sam Cohen, Morby begins. We get ragtime piano, heavy chords, and church choir backing vocals. Immediately, this is something new. Morby’s always been a fantastic songwriter, but this is something big, something different. When we ask the guitarist about these heightened goals, his answer is simple: “We wanted this one to feature music that could fit inside of a cathedral.”Even though Morby isn’t religious, he’s fascinated by the way it shapes our lives.

As a young Midwesterner, he witnessed it all around him. Whether he’s a believer or not is far from the point. This is the world he’s grown up with and it constantly invades his vernacular. Whether intentionally or not, Morby conflates politics with religion and, as such, this record is interested in the world we live in. But, Oh My God is more ambitious than its era.

It’s an album for all-time, not just 2019. When Morby turns this world inward, Oh My God is at its best. Kevin Morby is a growing spirit, a disciple for the Godless. And yet, there’s something here for everyone. Morby is confident without becoming preachy, questioning without being faithless. It’s a tightrope and Morby’s learned how to cross it blindfolded. I wonder what his next trick will be.

This is Kevin Morby’s defining album to date, that sounds as celestially enlightened as the themes it tackles, balancing sonic depth with a masterful lightness of touch and a painterly vision of the complete picture. “this one feels full circle, my most realised record yet,” he says. “it’s a cohesive piece; all the songs fit under the umbrella of this weird religious theme.” this is Kevin’s opus – a double concept album on spirituality and religion, for fans of Steve Gunn, Conor Oberst, Waxahatchee, Woods, and Kurt Vile .

Kevin Morby “Nothing Sacred / All Things Wild” from “Oh My God” out April 26th on Dead Oceans Records.

Throughout his four solo albums and myriad records of various collaboration, Kevin Morby has recognized in his work the ubiquity of an apparent religious theme. Though not identifying as “religious” in the slightest, Morby—the globetrotting son of Kansas City who has made music while living on both coasts before recently returning to his Midwestern stomping grounds—recognizes in himself a somewhat spiritual being with a secular attitude towards the soulful. And so, in an effort to tackle that notion head-on and once-and-for-all, he sat down in his form of church—on planes and in beds—and wrote what would become his first true concept-album: the lavish, resplendent, career-best double LP Oh My God.

“Religion is around all of us,” Morby says. “It’s a universal language and there is profound beauty in it. I’ve found it a useful tool within songwriting, as it’s something everyone can relate to on some level. There are religious themes or imagery in a lot of what I’ve done, so I wanted to get all of that out and speak only that language for a whole record. It’s not a born-again thing; it’s more that ‘oh my god’ is such a profound statement we all use multiple times a day and means so many different things. It’s not about an actual god but a perceived one, and it’s an outsider’s view of the human experience in terms of religion.”

Morby admits he has viewed the world through a skewed spiritual lens his entire life. As a kid he was told by his working-class parents that he was a Methodist, though the family rarely if ever made good on that claim come Sunday; he saw fire-and-brimstone billboards on Kansas roadways with the aim of scaring heathens straight. Despite his ignorance and indifference, religion seemed to be everywhere, and as Morby grew as a musician—playing bass for Woods, fronting The Babies, and with his solo career—he embraced its influence with his work. In 2016, on the heels of a trio of critically-acclaimed albums, he wrote the protest song “Beautiful Strangers” about the devastating world events of that year, and in it he inserted multiple “oh my god”s as pleas of desperation.

The song took off and the phrase became a mantra for Morby, inspiring him to weave the exclamation conceptually into the fabric of an entire album. In effect, he sought to highlight how that immortal turn of phrase embodies so much of our relationship with the sacred and profane—how religion is all around us, always, and that by simply uttering an OMG we enforce its ubiquity and ability to endure while humanizing its reach.

In January 2017, preceding the release of his fourth solo record City Music, Morby went into producer Sam Cohen’s Brooklyn studio for four days to record a handful of material written with his usual folk-meets-lo-fi-electric-guitar sound in mind. Cohen, with whom Morby made his 2016 breakthrough Singing Saw, had started recording the new songs with a business-as-usual mentality when on the third day he was struck with an idea: Rather than create what was becoming Singing Saw: Part 2, what if they stripped everything back and used only a few colours at a time instead of the entire Morby rock palette, focusing on Morby as hyper-literate singer instead of guitar-slinging troubadour?

Sam suggested that we make songs that sound like sonic pop-art that only have a few colors, like a Keith Haring piece,” Morby says. “My other records had tons of colors, so we decided to keep this stark, like a painting that’s black-and-white with one vibrant blue. We went back to the drawing board and thought about what we wanted to do conceptually across an entire piece. And for the first time I could do exactly what I wanted, as I had time and the ability to get everything precise. Sam encouraged me to let my lyrics sit on top of everything else, and that discovery and the confidence that came with making my fifth record helped me realize the new direction was exactly where we needed to be. We opened it up completely and set out to make something in its own universe.”

Over the remaining day-and-a-half, Morby and Cohen recorded new versions of four songs—“Oh My God,” “No Halo,” “Savannah,” and “Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild,” the latter becoming a mission statement for the new sound and featuring Morby singing, Cohen playing a subtle organ part, and Morby’s drummer Nick Kinsey on congas. Breaking the songs down into their separate parts served Morby’s religious theme perfectly, as did the blueprint of “Beautiful Strangers,” and over the course of 2017 he wrote an album’s worth of similar songs while on tour.

As Morby jetted around the world playing shows, he came to realize that all that air travel was making its way into his music, too. He had always used his time in the sky to work on songs and listen to demos he had recorded, but he began noticing an aero-dynamic emerging in his lyrics as well. “Flying can be something of a religious experience for many people, myself included,” he says. “It’s unnatural, and it can be so scary being that high up—a few big bumps can even make an atheist pray. You’re anxious as you take off and thinking about death, then you level off and suddenly you’re in this kingdom above the clouds. There’s a holy feeling, and a big part of the record’s theme is being above the weather. The first song, ‘Oh My God,’ starts with chaotic hammering on a piano and then smooths out with a choir singing; it’s meant to mimic how I feel on an airplane.”

All that flying also meant Morby was sleeping in a new place each night, a situation he also learned to embrace creatively—most of Oh My God’s songs were written from beds. Morby typically starts and ends each day by playing guitar or writing songs while under the covers, a practice that mimics prayer in myriad ways. “There’s something sacred about working from bed,” he says. “It’s where you make love and where you dream. I always write just before I go to sleep and right when I wake up. It’s where I can access that feeling of dreams. Any bed is always a sanctuary, but my bed at home is the Holy Grail.”

Morby sought to represent these sentiments visually for the release of Oh My God. In addition to using a portrait of him reclining in his own fluffy-white bed at home in Kansas City on the album cover, he also worked with the filmmaker Chris Good on a short film to accompany the release. The film stars Morby as he wanders through a dream-like series of encounters—on planes, in cars, in a diner, at home in his back yard—and presents a Gondry-esque vision of the album and its holy mood.

Meanwhile, in January of 2018, a full year after their initial session, Morby and Cohen returned to the studio together to complete the album’s recording. They fine-tuned the rollicking opening trio—starting with the title track, then first single “No Halo,” and “Nothing Sacred/All is Wild”— and played with various styles and techniques throughout. The ethereal “Congratulations” was written in a dream, a first for Morby. (“Someone had been singing the chorus to me over and over, and I woke up in the morning and walked to my piano and wrote it then and there.”) “Seven Devils” features a ripping guitar solo by Morby’s bandmate Meg Duffy that evokes a distorted hellfire, and “Piss River” is a stream-of-consciousness, poetic and profound tune featuring harp played by Morby’s friend Mary Lattimore while the singer has a call-and-response conversation with himself. Saxophone duties throughout the record were handled largely by Cochemea Gastelum, and a seven-member choir appears as well. Morby directed Cohen in the creation of a track called “Storm (Beneath the Weather),” a 90-second ambient instrumental piece made with synthesizers to mimic what it can feel like under the clouds. “Above the weather, you’re safe and nothing can get to you; it’s heavenly, like you achieved peace,” Morby says. “Below that you’re subject to the insanity of humanity, or Mother Nature. I wanted a weird, atonal sound on the record to represent a storm, which feels in-line with the pop-art idea.”

“Hail Mary” may be the album’s grandest moment and is recognizable as one of the few guitar-driven songs that hearkens back to his previous work. Its heavy scope is still apparent despite the fact that Morby and Cohen edited it down from its original 15-minute-long, multiple-verse version into a concise five minutes and three verses. And as the final song, “O Behold,” makes a familiar, just-in-case farewell from an airplane seat (“If the plane’s on fire/know I love you”), the listener can sense the credits rolling as the clouds begin to break, grips loosen, and the kingdom comes into view. At 14 tracks and four sides, Oh My God is an actualized concept album with a contemporary feel that is sure to plant its maker firmly in a window seat at the front of the plane.

“This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet,” he says. “It’s a cohesive piece; all the songs fit under the umbrella of this weird religious theme. I was able to write and record the album I wanted to make. It’s one of those marks of a life: this is why I slept on floors for seven years. I’ve now gotten the keys to my own little kingdom, and I’m devoting so much of my life to music that I just want to keep it interesting. At the end of the day, the only thing I don’t want is to be bored. If someone wants to get in my face about writing a non-religious religious record? Thank god. That’s all I gotta say.”


Kevin Morby has announced his fifth solo record, “Oh My God”. The double album is out April 26th via Dead Oceans. Today, he’s also sharing the album’s lead single “No Halo” accompanied by a video directed by Chris Good. Watch the video below,

“Oh My God” marks Kevin Morby’s first album since 2017’s City Music. “This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet,” Morby said in a statement. “It’s one of those marks of a life: this is why I slept on floors for seven years. I’ve now gotten the keys to my own little kingdom, and I’m devoting so much of my life to music that I just want to keep it interesting.”

Morby’s last album was 2017’s City Music, which followed 2016’s Singing Saw. Earlier this year, he teamed with Waxahatchee to cover a pair of Jason Molina songs.

Image result for images of vinyl records

The album of the week shines in every facet of its existence. Phosphorescent (aka Matthew Houck) has meticulously crafted an intensely warm album of americana pop, drawing together a multitude of instrumental textures – from guitars and pedal steels, to synths, to his own voice – and yoking them into perfect harmony. his lush melodies are executed with the utmost sincerity, giving his music a widescreen poignancy.

There are many more tasty treats out this week…big thief vocalist Adrianne Lenker has struck out on her own with an absolute pearl of an album. sweet & understated, this collection of songs poured out of her in the moments between performing & practicing with her band, resulting in her most intimate work yet. that’s on very limited glow-in-the-dark vinyl, for people who like to listen with the lights off. picking up the tempo a little, Molly Burch’s country pop sophomore features that same beautiful, warbling voice channelled through a stronger, more confident set of songs founded upon indelible melodies.. we’ve also been loving the debut from kentucky’s the Other Years, whose angelically pure vocal harmonies, underpinned by a sweet backing of violin & banjo, are a thing of simple beauty. this is the perfect album to come home to after a strenuous day – trust. predictably, Cat Power’s new album is a stone-cold stunner! her largely acoustic set of folk-tinged, blues-tinted songs continue to prove her to be one of the strongest songwriters working today.

Further recomendations Throwing Muses’ Kristin Hersh delivers another powerful solo album of darkly melodic scuzz-songwriting Will Hoge injects his rumbly-voiced country with an invigorating dash of soul and an exhilarating bolt of rock bravado;  it’s also worth knowing that Blood Orange’s ‘negro swan’ is finally in on vinyl, amy helm’s red vinyl lp has finally popped in & settled its round little body into our shelves. & Marie Davidson’s excellent new record – which had me & mark jiving away.

Reissues this week, Bloc Party‘s classic debut ‘silent alarm’ arrives for the very first time on sturdy 180 gram vinyl. john Lennon’s ‘imagine’ gets a new stereo remaster, along with a bounty of alternate mixes & alternate takes that offer tremendous insight into his recording process. and possibily the greatest guitar album ever Television’s very seminal ‘Marquee Moon’ is in on blue vinyl, with a bonus disc of alternate versions – yum!

Imagine (2018 reissue)

John Lennon  –  Imagine (2018 reissue)

this truly unique edition of one of the most iconic albums of all time sees the timeless record remastered with a new stereo remix and some additional non-album singles.

digging through extensive archival content, Yoko and her team deliver us an incredibly personal journey through the entire songwriting and recording process – from the very first writing and demo sessions at John’s home studio at tittenhurst park through to the final co-production with Phil Spector – providing a remarkable testament of the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their own words. ***the deluxe 2cd comes with an extensive bonus disc of different mixes, demos and alternate takes. *** ***the super deluxe boxset comes with an incredibly vast array of different mixes, demos and alternate takes, the restored ‘Imagine’ and ‘Gimme Some Truth’ films and a 120 page hardcover book documenting the album’s creation***

Abysskiss

Adrianne Lenker – Abysskiss

the big thief vocalist lays down a mesmerising set of songs that are hushed & disarmingly intimate, in which we climb into her consciousness without encountering any barriers & revel in the sweet beauty of her gentle melancholy.

the songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. these are not castaways or b-sides. some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the recording session. with this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public that she is a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice & the greater voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness & clarity of translation. “it’s an invitation to peer into the hidden spaces of an extraordinary modern songwriter, where calm & quiet moment prompt superlative work”

C’est La Vie

Phosphorescent  –  C’est La Vie

Matthew Houck has crafted an electrifying collection of songs that blend a dreamy, psychedelic americana aesthetic with solid pop foundations that never fail to engage.

this album reveals a crystallisation of what made ‘Muchacho’ such a breakout record release — a little sweetness and a little menace, sometimes boot-stomping and sometimes meditative. the magic of Matthew Houck’s music has always been the way he weaves shimmering, almost golden-sounding threads through elemental, salt-of-the-earth sounds. it’s not experimental, exactly, but it’s singular and it’s definitely not traditional. that knack, the through-line across the phosphorescent catalogue, is front and centre here. fans of bon iver, iron and wine, bonnie prince billy, damien jurado and okkervil river will love this! “songs of experience make up Matthew Houck’s heavenly seventh”

First Flower

Molly Burch  –  First Flower

a walk through Molly Burch’s most intimate thoughts – broken friendships, sibling relationships and overwhelming anxiety – ‘First Flower’ is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph with Burch’s voice as strong and dexterous as ever.

opening track “Candy” is a swinging, playful hit, while “Wild” deals with pushing away fear. title track “First Flower” is classic Burch, a simple love song that gives you goosebumps when she breaks into the chorus. but the album’s true stand-out is “To the Boys”, a courageous, sassy fuck-you to her own self-deprecation where she learns to love all the things she hated about herself. if you enjoyed angel olsen’s ‘My Woman’, this is the album for you. “more dreamy, torchy country-pop goodness from this Austin breakout”

Stardust Birthday Party

Ron Gallo –  Stardust Birthday Party

Ron Gallo’s punk-poet persona remains intact, backed by a generous injection of scuzz and fuzz.

“the details of my path are pointless because everyone’s path is different. it is about me sitting with myself for the first time and confronting the big question ‘what am i, really?’ it’s about the love and compassion for all things that enters when you find out you are nothing and everything. i think at one point i wanted to change the world, but now i know i can only change myself, or rather just strip away everything that is not me to reveal the only thing that’s ever been there. and that’s what this album is about, it’s me dancing while destroying the person i thought i was, and hopefully forever”. fans of oh sees, ty segall and warm drag should check this out

WANDERER

Cat Power  –  Wanderer

Chan Marshall’s return to the folkier, bluesier side of the tracks is very welcome on this lustrous set of understated, yet quietly powerful, acoustic ballads.

produced in its entirety by Marshall, ‘Wanderer’ includes appearances by long-time friends & compatriots, as well as guest vocals courtesy of Lana del Rey & an exquisite cover of Rihanna’s ‘Stay’. the 11 tracks encompass “my journey so far,” says Marshall. “the course my life has taken in this journey – going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. folk singers, blues singers, & everything in between. they were all wanderers, & i am lucky to be among them.” “the set has both strength & a lean, lustrous beauty, tapping Carole King-style classicism & american folk standards”

Fall Into the Sun

Swearin’ – Fall Into The Sun

their scuzztastic reunion has gifted us a blissful set of melodic bangers that go hard on distortion and easy on the ears.

much like the band’s previous albums, Gilbride anchored the recording and producing of the record, but this time around, the band worked to make the process feel more collaborative than ever before. “i feel like this was the first time i could look at a Swearin’ record and say that i co-produced it, and that felt really good,” said Crutchfield. Crutchfield and Gilbride always had an innate ability to mirror the other’s movements in songs, but here, they build a focused lyrical perspective across their songs, one that’s thankful for their past, but looks boldly toward the future. fans of rilo kiley, the beths, speedy ortiz and forth wanderers need to check this out!

Masana Temples

Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples

the psych-prog quintet return with a serene set of wah-heavy motifs, seasoned with moments of exquisitely delicate, hushed vocals.

more than the literal interpretation of being on a journey, the album’s ever-changing sonic panorama reflects the spiritual connection of the band moving through this all together. inspecting the harmonies and disparities between their evolving perspectives, the group reflects the emotional impact of their nomadic paths. the music is the product of time spent in motion and all of the bending mindsets that come with it. fans of minami deutsche and sundays & cybele should check this out.

Possible Dust Clouds

Kristin Hersh  – Possible Dust Clouds

enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept of ‘dark sunshine’, this brooding solo album expands her off-kilter sonic vision; a squally, squeaky cocktail of discordant beauty.

feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality, imagine Dinosaur jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. messing with both extremes of the sonic spectrum: atonal and arrhythmic, a unique sound and a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock’s true innovators. “sometimes the most subversive thing i can do musically is adhere to standard song structure, sometimes the creepiest chords are the ones we’ve heard before, twisted into different shapes” – Kristin Hersh, july 2018. “the prodigious output and commitment to quality is pretty staggering, but then Kristin Hersh is a very, very special musician.”

LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Father John Misty – Live at Third Man Records

Live at Third Man Records covers songs from the first three of his albums, heard here stripped totally bare, you lucky tikes.  In September last year, Josh Tillman stopped by Third Man’s Nashville headquarters on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday afternoon and surprised them with a lunchtime solo, acoustic set before his sold-out Ryman Auditorium performance. They, of course, had our 1955 Scully Lathe warmed at the ready to capture the occasion. As is typical for direct-to-acetate recordings in the Blue Room, Josh warmed up the room (and our engineers) with two songs before they started cutting the LP. He began with the debut performance of his newly penned Mr. Tillman(foreshadowing its release as the first single on God’s Favorite Customer 9 months later). They then used the second song as an opportunity to carve a 12” on-the-spot single of Now I’m Learning to Love the War, which was promptly handed it to a lucky attendee for safe keeping. If you want to know more about that, you’ll have to scour the depths of FJM’s fan net. Live at Third Man Records covers songs from all three Father John Misty albums out at the time of its recording, heard here stripped totally bare

my american dream

Will Hoge  –  My American Dream

Hoge gives it his all on this blazing album of gritty, country soul, newly infused with a furious rock energy.

with ‘My American Dream’, Hoge hopes that others will follow his lead, see the world through someone else’s eyes, and maybe begin to fix the mess we’re living in. “i don’t want to write songs telling people how they should feel” Hoge says. “if anything, maybe there’s a 16- or 17-year-old kid in the small-town south who has rumblings of these feelings but doesn’t have anybody in his little community to go, ‘hey man, think about it like this for a second. here’s another group of people’s perspectives’”. fans of chris stapleton, lydia loveless, steve earle’s ‘copperhead road’ and nikki lane will love this!

ICON OF EGO

Arc Iris  –  Icon of Ego

the trio’s third is a vividly expressionistic record that reflects their protean talents, creating an avantgarde experimental pop that’s entirely their own.

‘Icon of Ego’ finds a stronger, more experienced band. the band has evolved into a concentrated pop-prog explosion, mixing styles with disparate elements that captivate and surprise. with heavy synthesiser work by Tenorio and Jocie Adams, and seemingly impossible transitions executed effortlessly by Belli, the songs here carry a thick, analogue electronic sound that harks back to the ’70s. presiding over these are Adams’ powerful vocals that house the energy under pop forms. fans of cocorosie and deerhoof should check these guys out.

I

Terry – I’m Terry

the Melbourne quartet capture their particular kind of witty diy, garage pop beautifully on this lp.

there are few rules in Terry’s world. “they seem to make a song out of whatever sounds good to them. the only stylistic consistency is in their hat wear. terry are like Steely Dan or 10cc. both bands make me queasy after a certain point. Terry probably also make me a bit queasy, singing about police beatings and nationalism and all that. but they’re not out to hurt you. they’re like the kindly bearer of bad news. Terry puts it in terms that speak to me. it’s a tragicomedy.” – fans of the go-betweens, courtney barnett and rolling blackouts coastal fever need to hear this.

henry / I

Soccer Mommy – Henry / I’m on Fire

Soccer Mommy aka Sophie Allison puts her own heavenly spin on the boss’ timeless classic, plus reworks the lead track from her obscure 2016 album ‘For Young Hearts’, previously only physically available as a rare cassette release. we think she’s done Bruce proud. Soccer Mommy is a must for fans of snail mail, phoebe bridgers, lucy dacus and julien baker.

LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Kevin Morby – Live at Third Man Records

Kevin Morby performs two tracks for third man, stripping them down and revealing something completely new, in relation to their studio counterparts.

Formally a member of New York folk group Woods, Kevin Morby has made a name for himself with his four acclaimed solo releases. these songs, “Destroyer” and “Black Flowers”, come from his third record ‘Singing Saw’. “Destroyer” is an autobiographical minimalistic keyboard ballad, a distant cousin of the full band album version. “Black Flowers” on this single borrows less from the sweeping orchestras of leonard cohen’s catalogue and more from the melancholic austerity of bert jansch.

Singer/songwriter Justin Sullivan, aka Night Shop, may be releasing his debut album, In The Break this month, but he’s far from a starry-eyed newcomer. Sullivan has been a touring drummer for the last 20 years, most recently playing with The Babies, Kevin Morby and Flat Worms. While touring in 2016, Sullivan realized that the taxing life of a touring musician was getting a bit too much and he needed some time off, so he took a year-long break to clear his head. During that period, he wrote solo material in the form of a debut EP and now, his first LP. His first two cuts from the album, “The One I Love” and “My Love,” are rollicking folky rock and roll tunes that require a massive amount of restraint to stop yourself from tapping your foot. Sullivan’s voice may not be cocksure or Elvis Presley-esque, but he sure makes a fine front-porch troubadour via Bob Dylan. In The Break paints tales of deep-rooted romance, old and new pals, life on the road, late night hijinks and just plain ole life under the great big sky.

From the album “In The Break” coming out on Mare Records September 14th.

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Justin Sullivan has been performing as a touring drummer for over 20 years; he performed with Kevin Morby, both solo and as The Babies, as well as being a founder member of Marc Riley favourites, Flat Worms. In 2016, burnt out from life on the road hitting skins on other people’s songs, Justin decided to take a year out: it might just have been the best idea he ever had. The result is the aptly titled album, In The Break, Justin’s first record under his musical pseudonym, Night Shop.

Ahead of releasing In The Break next month, Night Shop has this week shared the newest taste of it, The Ship Has Sailed. Liberally borrowing his musical friends talents, the record features offerings from Meg Duffy, Anna St. Louis and Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere, Justin has created a sound entirely on his own terms. Sure, there’s certainly a touch of Kevin Morby in the vocal production, and that’s no bad thing, yet in the twanging-guitars and prominent percussive bass-line there’s enough to make this stand out from even the most distinguished of crowds.

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Time to put all your best drummer jokes to one side, and admire a talent stepping into the limelight with effortless aplomb.

In The Break is out September 14th via Woodsist / Mare Records.

Kevin Morby Waxahatchee

Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee toured together and collaborated on stage last year, and now they have teamed up once again to cover two songs by the late Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co). They did “Farewell Transmission” from Songs: Ohia’s The Magnolia Electric Co and “The Dark Don’t Hide It” from Magnolia Electric Co’s What Comes After the Blues. They turned both songs into duets, and they also sing some gorgeous harmonies together in the chorus of the latter. Here’s what Morby says about the project:

My love for Jason Molina began only a few years ago. I had overlooked him for years, too overwhelmed by his many monikers and sprawling catalogue. Then on a European tour in 2016 our driver put on Magnolia Electric Company and my mind was blown – and so began my obsession with the man and his music. A few months after hearing him I was on tour with Waxahatchee where Katie and I bonded over our mutual love for Molina, and we got the idea to record two of our favorite Songs: Ohia songs – which is what you have here today; Farewell Transmission b/w The Dark Don’t Hide It.These were recorded in Upstate New York with my live band at my drummer’s studio, The Chicken Shack, with both Katie and I splitting vocals duties. We would record all day, eating eggs from all the chickens running around, taking breaks to read old articles and watch live footage of Jason and his band. He’s a true inspiration and there’s no other songwriter or vocalist quite like him. We are deeply honored to be able to sing his songs, and we do hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed creating them. The cover art was done by William Schaff, who is responsible for the iconic Magnolia Electric Co. album art. All proceeds of the digital sales will go to MusiCares® – an organization that provides support and community services to musicians in need of medical, personal & financial assistance – and also helped Jason in his struggle with addiction, as well as paid to have a polyp removed from my vocal chords in 2014. A truly wonderful cause.”

Peace and Happy New Year,
Kevin Morby, 2018

Kevin Morby & Waxahatchee – Farewell Transmission

Kevin Morby & Waxahatchee  – The Dark Don’t Hide It

Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby has carved out a niche over the course of four solo albums as a generous songwriter and lyricist, a chronicler of details from city and rural life. Morby’s latest album, “City Music”, finds him reflecting on city landscapes and experiences, as well as old friends which take the form of ghosts. “Come to Me Now,” is emblematic of Morby’s gift of imbuing songs with an air of religiosity, using space and gaps to conjure images of spectral lovers and rotted city structures.

City Music was Morby’s first album recorded with his talented live band, which consists of amazing Meg Duffy (guitar), Justin Sullivan (drums), and Cyrus Gengras (bass). Recorded near Stinson Beach, California, and produced by the ubiquitous Richard Swift, the album greatly benefits from the symbiotic relationship between players and instruments. Duffy’s guitar, in particular, adds layers of texture and melody, ringing softly against Morby’s resonant voice. Though not as guitar-laden as the titular “City Music” or “Crybaby,” the guitar rings in and out of earshot acting as Morby’s past love, glistening organ and drums taking the track to its conclusion.

KEXP presents Kevin Morby performing “City Music” live at The Triple Door as part of KEXP’s VIP Club concert series. Recorded August 21, 2017.

Songs: City Music,  Crybaby , 1234,  Aboard My Train,  Destroyer,  I Have Been To The Mountain, Parade, Downtown’s Lights, Beautiful Strangers,

“Singing Saw”, was the solo album from Los Angeles singer-songwriter (and former Woods bassist) Kevin Morby, was one of the great “growers” of 2016. Dusky and unassuming, it revealed its considerable charms slowly but surely. Morby’s follow up, City Music, mines a similar aesthetic, though its songs in general seem to endear themselves more quickly. Where Singing Saw was inspired in part by Morby’s sleepy neighborhood in the hills northeast of L.A., City Music is about the metropolis: city life, city noise, city people, a city’s pace, and so on.

Morby has said Singing Saw was Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, while City Music is Lou Reed and Patti Smith, and the comparison is clear in Morby’s speak-sing deadpan and bulging crescendos from brooding guitar-folk to driving rock. (The barreling “1234” makes a beeline for the Ramones.) City Music doesn’t hustle and bustle. But it won’t let you miss it, either so cool.

Kevin Morby’s title track off his excellent record, “City Music” nearly hits the 7-minute mark and challenges what fans may have come to expect from him. The song builds like a slowly accelerating subway train, as does this deeply impressionistic video.

Kevin Morby “City Music,” from his album, ‘City Music’, out 6/16 on Dead Oceans Records

Kevin Morby: “I love Baltimore. It is a city with a giant heart and has remained one of my favorite places to keep returning to on tour. It is unique and beautiful and you can’t mistake it for anywhere else in the world – Baltimore is one hundred percent Baltimore. All proceeds from both my and the label side will go to the Believe In Music education program, which provides “an innovative music education for Baltimore’s youth”. I do hope you enjoy both versions of the song and if you do decide to donate – thank you for contributing to what I believe to be a great cause.
I wrote Baltimore at the time I was conceiving both ‘Singing Saw’ and ‘City Music’ and recorded a version during both sessions with two different bands. I love the song dearly, but in the end thought that thematically it didn’t belong on either album, and thus have been waiting for this moment to release it as what it has always been meant to be – a single.”
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Believe in Music is so grateful to generous and talented Kevin Morby for the donation of proceeds from his new release, “Baltimore.” We feel strongly that both versions of the song reflect the character and unique vibe of Baltimore City. Having the support of successful, working musicians is incredibly meaningful for our students as they aspire to succeed through an education in music.

released October 25th, 2017

“Baltimore (Sky At Night)” features Sam Cohen on bass, Nick Kinsey on drums and Marco Benevento on piano. Recorded April 2015 at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY by Daniel Goodwin.

“Baltimore (County Line)” features Meg Duffy on bass and Justin Sullivan on drums. Recorded October 2015 at Panoramic Studios in Stinson Beach, CA by Drew Fischer.