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Kevin Morby Shares Video for New Song About Gun Violence “OMG Rock n Roll”

Oh My God Due Out April 26 via Dead Oceans

Apr 17, 2019 Kevin Morby
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Kevin Morby is releasing a new album, Oh My God, on April 26 via Dead Oceans. Now he has shared a video for another new song from it, “OMG Rock n Roll.” Morby says it’s a song about gun violence. The song borrows lyrics from Morby’s 2016 single “Beautiful Strangers.” Christopher Good directed the video, which includes shots of vinyl records being put into a blender, as well as Morby performing the song. Watch it below, followed by Morby’s upcoming tour dates.

Morby had this to say about the song in a press release: “It’s meant to be playful, despite the morbid subject matter, and sing sonic praise to rock n roll as a religious experience. More than anything - it’s [a song] about gun violence in America. Sutherland Springs, Vegas, Parkland…the list gets longer each year, filled with more cities, more innocent victims and yet nothings fundamentally changed. It’s a sad, scary and ultimately incredibly frustrating affair. We’ve all made peace with the fact that every time we leave the house we could be senselessly murdered at the hands of someone who should never have been given that power. The song is meant to mirror a public tragedy with its hard pan to the choir almost two minutes in. It’s rolling along, living it’s best life, when suddenly, with a gasp, reality has been turned upside down and all there’s left to do is pray to god you don’t die.”

Previously he shared a video for its first single, “No Halo” (which was one of our Songs of the Week). Then he shared another song from the album, “Nothing Sacred / All Things Wild,” also via a video (it was also one of our Songs of the Week).

Oh My God is billed as Morby’s “first true concept-album” and tackles religion. Morby released two excellent albums in back-to-back years: Singing Saw in 2016 and City Music in 2017, both via Dead Oceans, but then took a break from releasing a new album in 2018. Previous collaborator Sam Cohen produced the album in his Brooklyn studio. It started as a four-day recording session, but soon blossomed into something more ambitious than just making another album like his last two.

“Sam suggested that we make songs that sound like sonic pop-art that only have a few colors, like a Keith Haring piece,” Morby said in a previous press release. “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.”

The press release described the album like this: “Throughout his past work, Morby has noticed the ubiquity of an apparent religious theme. Though not identifying as ‘religious’ in the slightest, Morby 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. If Singing Saw was Kevin’s LA record, and City Music was his ode to New York City, then Oh My God lives in the sky, above the weather, both nowhere and everywhere at once.”

Morby further elaborated in the press release: “Religion is around all of us. 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.”

Summing up the experience of recording Oh My God, Morby said: “This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet. It’s a cohesive piece; all the songs fit under the umbrella of this 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.”

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 Tour Dates:

Wed. May 8, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel *
Fri. May 10, 2019 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst (Live in the Atrium) *
Sat. May 11, 2019 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore *
Mon. May 13, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom *
Tue. May 14, 2019 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox *
Wed. May 15, 2019 - Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Vancouver * SOLD OUT
Fri. May 17, 2019 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room *
Sat. May 18, 2019 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater * SOLD OUT
Fri. May 31, 2019 - New York, NY @ Town Hall *
Sat. June 1, 2019 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club *
Sun. June 2, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
Mon. June 3, 2019 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair *
Wed. June 5, 2019 - Toronto, ON @ The Opera House *
Thu. June 6, 2019 - Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark *
Fri. June 7, 2019 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *
Sat. June 8, 2019 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *
Fri. June 14 - Brussels, BE @ AB *
Sat. June 15 - Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg *
Sun. June 16 - Mannheim, DE @ Maifield Derby *
Mon. June 17 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso *
Wed. June 19 - London, UK @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire *
Thu. June 20 - Paris, FR @ Le Cabaret Sauvage *
Sat. June 22 - Hamburg, DE @ Knust *
Sun. June 23 - Copenhagen, DK @ Vega *
Mon. June 24 - Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall *
Wed. June 26 - Helsinki, FI @ Tavastia *
Fri. Jun 28, 2019 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser/Bar Brooklyn (solo)
Sat. Jun 29, 2019 - Gothenburg, Sweden @ Pustervik (solo)
Sun. Jun 30, 2019 - Oslo, Norway @ John Dee (solo)
Mon. Jul 1, 2019 - Tromsø, Norway @ Blårock Café (solo)
Tue. Jul 2, 2019 - Bergen, Norway @ Landmark (solo)
Wed Jul 3, 2019 - Malmö, Sweden @ Babel (solo)
Fri. Jul 5, 2019 - Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain @ Vida Festival (solo)
Sat. Jul 6, 2019 - Madrid, Spain @ Copérnico (solo)
Sun. Jul 7, 2019 - Lisbon, Portugal @ São Luiz Teatro Municipal (solo)
Mon. Jul 8, 2019 - Braga, Portugal @ Gnration (solo)
Wed. Jul 10, 2019 - Biarritz, France @ La Côte des Basques (solo)
Thu. Jul 11, 2019 - Bordeaux, France @ Rock School Barbey (solo)
Fri. Jul 12, 2019 - Toulouse, France @ Le Théatre de Garonne (solo)
Sun. Jul 14, 2019 - Roubaix, France @ La Cave aux Poetes (solo)
Wed. Jul 17, 2019 - Istanbul, Turkey @ IKSV (solo)
Fri. Jul 19, 2019 - Dublin, Ireland @ The Grand Social (solo)

* w/ Sam Cohen

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