Kevin Morby Shares New Songs “Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun” and “Wander” - <i>Sundowner</i> Due Out October 16 via Dead Oceans; “Wander” Video Features Waxahatchee | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, October 29th, 2020  

Kevin Morby Shares New Songs “Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun” and “Wander”

Sundowner Due Out October 16 via Dead Oceans; “Wander” Video Features Waxahatchee

Sep 23, 2020
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Kevin Morby is releasing a new album, Sundowner, on October 16 via Dead Oceans. Now he has shared two new songs from the album: “Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun” (via lyric video) and “Wander” (via a full-on video). Graham Shafer directed the “Wander” video, which features Morby’s real life romantic partner, Katie Crutchfield (aka Waxahatchee). Watch both videos below.

“‘Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun’ is my favorite song off of the new album, and the one I’m most proud of,” says Morby in a press release. “I consider space to be a prominent instrument on the song—and here it is as important as anything else you hear on the track. It was my goal to capture the vast openness of the middle American landscape sonically. To this end—there is a whole track of nothing but Texas air, birds and wind chimes living beneath the song.”

Of “Wander,” Morby had this to say: “‘Wander’ is anchored by a lyric I’ve had in my head for the past decade. The hook ‘I wonder as I wander why was I born in the wild wonder’ is even featured in the insert of the first Babies LP. The song is meant to steadily gain momentum before coming to an abrupt halt. It is the shortest song I’ve ever written, and is intended to be played on a loop.”

Previously Morby shared Sundowner’s first single, “Campfire,” via a video for the song that also featured Katie Crutchfield, who had a brief vocal part in the middle of the video. “Campfire” was one of our Songs of the Week.

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).
 
Morby described the album as such: “It is a depiction of isolation. Of the past. Of an uncertain future. Of provisions. Of an omen. Of a dead deer. Of an icon. Of a Los Angeles themed hotel in rural Kansas. Of billowing campfires, a mermaid and a highway lined in rabbit fur. It is a depiction of the nervous feeling that comes with the sky’s proud announcement that another day will be soon coming to a close as the pink light recedes and the street lamps and house lights suddenly click on.”

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 Virtual Tour Dates:

Thu. Sept. 24 - Singing Saw
Thu. Oct. 1 - City Music
Thu. Oct. 8 - Oh My God
Thu. Oct. 15 - Sundowner

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