Kevin Morby Shares New Song “US Mail” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, November 26th, 2020  

Kevin Morby Shares New Song “US Mail”

Sundowner Out Now via Dead Oceans

Oct 27, 2020 Photography by Johnny Eastlund
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Kevin Morby released a new album, Sundowner, earlier this month via Dead Oceans. Now he has shared a new standalone single, “US Mail,” which is a tribute to the United States Postal Service. There’s a studio version of the song, as well as a video of him performing it live. Check out both below.

Morby had this to say about the song in a press release:

“‘US Mail’ is a song I wrote about a mother communicating with her daughter via the USPS from within an inpatient rehab facility. Restricted from any forms of electronic communication, the two must rely on postcards carried by the United States Postal Service to reach one another.
 
My PO BOX is featured on the track artwork—please feel free to write me a letter and continue sending mail to your loved ones to support the USPS. Its service has been integral to my career and I have been passionate about both sending and receiving physical mail since I was a child. It is simply one of my favorite things. I will do my best to write you back, but even if I don’t, please know that your letters mean the world to me and that I read and cherish them all.
 
Though we had originally intended to record this song in studio while mixing Sundowner, when the lockdown went into effect and the session was cancelled we decided to do it remotely instead, with Brad recording the music and me recording the vocals from our respective homes.
 
This release is dedicated to mothers and their children—and all postal workers everywhere.
 
Xoxo
KM, Kansas City 2020” 

Previously Morby shared Sundowner’s first single, “Campfire,” via a video for the song that also featured Morby’s real life romantic partner, Katie Crutchfield (aka Waxahatchee), who had a brief vocal part in the middle of the video. “Campfire” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared two more new songs from the album: “Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun” (via lyric video) and “Wander” (via a full-on video). Then he shared another song from it, title track “Sundowner.”

Sundowner was written and recorded after Morby moved from Los Angeles to his hometown of Kansas City, KS. When they weren’t both on tour, Crutchfield would join him there. “They shared many things, including a mutual melancholy that seemed to appear every night around sunset,” a previous press release explained. “They began to refer to themselves as ‘sundowners.’”

Morby wrote the album on a Four Track Tascam model 424. “I wrote the entire album wearing headphones, hunched over the 424, letting my voice and guitar pass through the machine, getting lost in the warmth of the tape as if another version of myself was living on the inside, singing back at me,” he said in the previous press release. “I was mesmerized by the magic of the four track not only as a recording device, but also an instrument, and considered it my songwriting partner throughout the whole process.”

In January 2019 Morby recorded the album at Texas’ Sonic Ranch with producer Brad Cook. “My end goal was to capture the cadence of what I had found inside the four track but make it three dimensional, and Brad seemed perfect for the job,” said Morby. Morby played most of the instruments on the album, including lead guitar, mellotron, and “a slightly out-of-tune pump organ.” Cook also contributed bass and keys, with Big Thief’s James Krivchenia playing drums towards the end of the session.

Morby released his last album, Oh My God, in 2019 via Dead Oceans. It was billed as Morby’s “first true concept-album” and tackled religion. Morby took time away from Sundowner to tour Oh My God, but returned to the album this March, as the world went into quarantine, mixing the album remotely with Cook and Jerry Ordonez (from Sonic Ranch). Prior to Oh My God, Morby released two albums in back-to-back years: Singing Saw in 2016 and City Music in 2017, both via Dead Oceans. 

Read our 2017 interview with Kevin Morby on City Music

Also read our 2017 Track-by-Track interview with Morby on City Music

Read our review of Singing Saw and check out our 2016 interview with Morby about Singing Saw.

Kevin Morby · US Mail

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