Wednesday night, we sweated our way though the early set time to catch two artists that have been making headlines in the indie rock world lately: Big Thief and Kevin Morby. It was a quick evening, but a good one nonetheless, and you can read my brief thoughts on both acts after the jump.
Tomorrow night is the show opportunity of the week– aka a chance for you to celebrate getting through the majority of the work week with rad tunes at a ridiculously low price. If you have any sense at all, you’ll get yourself to the Sidewinder early to catch the killer double bill of Big Thief and Kevin Morby. You’ll wanna get there fairly soon after the doors open at 6:30 to catch Brooklyn’s folk rockers, Big Thief, as the vocals of Adrienne Lenker are a sound to behold. But the best part is that you get to catch Kevin Morby, of Woods and The Babies, touring in support of his excellent recent release,Singing Saw, which was all parts bluesy-folk and excellence. Oh, and did I mention that tickets are only 10 dollars? Go buy one and get yourself to the Sidewinder on Wednesday night!
Kevin Morby has been making albums under his own name for a few years now, and with each release, this brand of Americana-influenced rock seems to grow and take a more definite shape. Singing Saw is his third full length on his own, and its nine tracks of delightful folk rock, well orchestrated and complex, haunting and lingering in their construction.
The album eases you in gently, with Morby at his quietest with Cut Me Down, but then picks up quickly with infectious single, I Have Been To The Mountain. Opening things up, you get the impression that Morby is picking up where he left off with his last release, Still Life, which came out in 2014. This track has got that stewing darkness that centers around Morbys smoky vocals, akin to what you found on that last record with tracks like Drowning, but where this song nails down the difference is the way in which Cut Me Down, starts and stops, creating newfound drama. Morby looks you in the eyes as he takes his stance and proclaims And youre going to do/what you came here to do/ So why not do it now/cut me down. This kind of welcome confrontation adds a bit of a punch behind the folk blend.
Such a lyrical punch is mirrored in the instrumentation on the next track as the first track begins to pick up in pace before the second track makes its entrance. I Have Been To The Mountain, is an exceptional songone that makes you want to dance as well as marvel at how detailed it is. Theres this brooding darkness underneath the groove that comes from the string work and the acoustic guitar that begin the track and then simmer underneath through its duration. To balance this darkness, there are the popping horns that chime in and the gospel choir Ahhs that intercede and combine with Morbys vocals.
Singing Saw, the title track, follows up on the dark undercurrents of the previous number, the licks of guitar snarling through the mix like flames of a growing fire. However, this song doesnt just stay in one place, but picks up strength as it goes. Theres so much going on here, and yet, each instrument and vocal note feels precisely placed as the number builds and builds. The rest of the album keeps surprising youwhether its the bouncy Dorothy, the gentle, lyrically driven Black Flowers or ending blues-inspired Water, you remain with Morby to the very end.
What sets Singing Saw apart from your average folk rock is that does both the quiet and bombastic tracks superbly welltheres never a dull moment on the album. The brevity of the nine songs works to hold your attention and keep you rooted in their fine craftsmanship. You ought to take a listen.
This is it folks…this is your last chance to listen to some music from Kevin Morby before the release of his new effort on Friday. The song revolves primarily around the strength of Morby’s vocal performance and beautifully rich piano. You’ll get an added bonus when the strings swoop in mid-track, slightly altering the tone in Kevin’s voice. And that’s not all, as a great horn scoots into the picture accompanied by a female vocal counterpart as we fade to a close. There have been some really good albums this year, but it’s beginning to sound a lot like Singing Saw will be a special one. Look for it Friday via Dead Oceans!
If you haven’t taken the time to familiarize yourself with Kevin Morby yet, it’s really time for you to sit on down and take a listen, as his entrancing brand of rock will have you swooning. The latest track/video he has released is “Dorothy,” which you can take in below, and it’s a blazing dose of americana influenced rock and roll. What I’m most fond of on this number is the way the unique vocals of Morby are both mirrored and complimented by the instrumentation. You get the fuzzy guitars that blend with his voice, and then that ragtime piano that comes and goes through the mix, juxtaposing with the buzzing main focus of the song. Take a listen and watch the video below, and buckle up forSinging Saw, which is out on April 15th viaDead Oceans.
We’ve been tracking Kevin Morby and his work with Woods and The Babies for a long while now, and at this point that anything this man has a part in will be some sort of magical. Today, he’s shared a new video and debuted the single, “I Have Been To The Mountain,” which is classic Kevin Morby with a bit of a pop twist to it. It’s got this stewing haze to it, made possible by Morby’s vocals and the grumble of the electric guitar which cuts in and out. Meanwhile, the beat is kind of groovy, simmering underneath it all. It’s a damn great song, and the video is interesting to say the least. Make sure you check it out below and get ready for Morby’s upcoming album,Singing Saw, which is out April 15th onDead Oceans.