Kevin Morby – Singing Saw

kevinmorbs

Rating: ★★★★ ·

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.

 

One Last Kevin Morby Track

Kevin MorbyThis 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!

Yes! More Kevin Morby!

unnamed-32If 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.

 

New Single/Video From Kevin Morby

unnamed-23We’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.

 

 

Fresh Kevin Morby Track

Kevin MorbySince going it on his own, Kevin Morby has been pretty busy (though I wish he’d make time for another Babies album). He is working on a new record for Dead Oceans in 2016, but the label has teased us with a bit of new music by way of this new single, slated for a 7″ in September (9/4).  It’s interesting, as he sounds older and wiser here, both in the way his vocals sound on the recording, and the lyrical content.  Honestly, I think you could see this coming from his earliest work with Woods, but I didn’t expect it to sound this polished this soon in his solo endeavors.  Need a great classic rock by way of neo-folk jam? This is the one.

New Music (To Me) from The Babies

babesFirst off, you should own Our House on the Hill by the Babies. The song “Alligator” alone warrants your ownership; it’s one of my favorite songs of the last few years, period.  Luckily, the band’s been holding onto some of their B-Sides while they’ve been working on solo Kevin Morby and Cassie Ramone LPs.  Woodsist has opted to released these two B-Sides as a digital single, and I’m going to pick them up (though I wish they came on a 7″).  This song from the release has that jangly swagger, featuring Morby on the lead vocal; it’s so tasty I’m not even sure how this track didn’t make the final cut! Listen and hit up the label for the release.

Top 50 Albums of 2014

TOP 50 ALB 14These lists are everywhere, so you’ll be excused if you just roll your eyes and skip on. But, that being said, we always seem to be way off the mark when it comes to our Top 50 Albums of the Year.  Sure, we have some of the sure fire hits on this list like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, but don’t even read on if you’re look ing to see where Run the Jewels made it…they’re not there. Sorry not sorry.  So, if you’re into arbitrary lists by people who like to push their own agenda, then this list is for you! Read more

Kevin Morby – Still Life

kevin-morby-stilllife

Rating: ★★★★ ·

You may know Kevin Morby better through his other projects such as The Babies, or has bass work in Woods. However, Still Life is his second release for this solo development, a follow up to Harlem River, which came out last year. If you’re still only familiar with this man’s other achievements, it’s time to bust out your headphones or your speakers and have a listen to Still Life, which shows the pure talent that you already knew Morby possessed, but channeled in a raw and real form; the sincerity of this record will have you coming back to it over and over again.

The album comes to you humbly and asks you to “take [it] as you feel—” a line that comes on “Amen,” which you won’t come to until later, but this is an instance of the songwriting aptly describing the listening experience. From the moment you press play on opening “The Jester, The Tramp & The Acrobat,” you get this gentle undercurrent of a rhythm that carries you along while Morby, addressing you as a friend, opens up. The song begins to flesh itself out, transitioning from soft drums and acoustic guitar to some licking electric guitar and a change to a faster pace. Here, we get a bit of a preview as to what this album has in store for us: we get both a subtle and simple side well as the intricately crafted indie-rock-and-roll jam side, all of which is coated in a residual gravity in the songwriting.

While it’s hard to pick a favorite aspect of this record to focus on—both the instrumentation and the lyrics work together in a fantastic combination of mood—the lyrics are constantly are working at your heart, begging for you to let them in. Take any track on this record and you can find a line or two that is stunning in its nature, even removed from context. On a song by song basis, there are numbers like “Drowning” and “All Of My Life” which grip you from start to finish, tying together lines like the threads in a tapestry, leaving you simply stunned at the end product. Here is a man pouring what seems to be the contents of his soul into his craft, laying it all out for you in a sometimes delicate, sometimes rock and roll fueled context.

To put it bluntly and with a cliché, listening to this record feels a bit like falling in love; by the time I reached the ending of Still Life, I was already itching to restart and do it all over again, following Morby through the highs of the jams and especially the lows in his lyrics. It’s all good, and it’s all waiting for you to fall into its depths.

Kevin Morby Continues His Good Run

kevkev All I need to make the Kevin Morby triumvirate of greatness complete is a new Babies record.  He’s already had a good year with a new 7″ this year and an album with his other act Woods; today he announced yet another album under his own name, featuring this great new track.  It’s a relaxed tune filled with light touches of piano and horns, again illustrating his growth as an incredible writer.  This new collection of songs is titled Still Life, as an homage to a art piece by Maynard Monrow; you can get the new record from Woodsist on October 14th.

New Music from Kevin Morby

kevKevin Morby‘s made quite a name for himself with Woods and the Babies, but the last year has really seen him step into a world of his own.  He released Harlem River, which received rave reviews, then put on a killer set here at the Mohawk in Austin.  And, he’s back again, this time agreeing to a fresh new single with Suicide Squeeze Records; it’s set to be released on August 5th. There’s an intimacy to his performance on this track, with careful guitar work and a solemnity in his voice; you can even here a bit of imperfection in pieces, which is a nice nod.  Enjoy listening to this one.

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