Kevin Morby

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Just to give you an idea of how ruthlessly efficient we are about keeping up with music news, no sooner did I sit down to write about Kevin Morby’s last album than I realised that he actually had a new one on the way. Yes, we’re that sharp.

In fact, I’m so shit at this that I think there’s actually been another album inbetween Harlem River, which is the one I was all excited about, and the new one which has just been announced. Ah well, fuck it, I’m telling you about music I heard in a bar whilst so shitfaced I had to ask the bartender the name of the album three fucking times before I actually remembered it. Shame on me.

This is one from when we were in Red Hook actually, and on our first night in Sunny’s (one of New York’s finest dive bars) the bartender played all sorts of excellent stuff, to the extent that I went straight on eBay and bought two albums then and there. Could be worse. The next time I was drunk in a Red Hook bar and went on eBay I ended up with another old Volvo.

Every single review of Morby’s stuff mentions that he either was or is the bass player for Woods, but I don’t really know Woods all that well, and in all honesty he now has so much of his own stuff out there that the point has become pretty much irrelevant anyway. A bit like the Sea Pinks and Girls Names.

Harlem River could, I suppose, be loosely characterised as a mixture of that warm, late night feel of Kurt Vile and the spooky otherworldliness of Timber Timbre. It’s really just so reassuring and and lovely. I don’t know about this particular style of music; in some ways it’s sort of like easy listening for hipsters, in that it doesn’t intrude all that music and envelops you in this warm sense of everything being okay. Winter evening red wine music.

Using those terms though it sounds like I am trying to come up with the snidest and most dismissive insult I can, but I promise you I am not, I absolutely fucking love this album. It’s the kind of record I have reached for again and again over the last few months and my enthusiasm shows no sign of waning. Even the first time I heard it it just felt instantly familiar, as if I’d been listening to it for years and years.

The new one’s due in the next few months, and hopefully there will be more of the same. Looking at the press releases and various announcements there seem to be plenty of other vocalists involved, and if there’s one thing I am a sucker for it’s a lush vocal harmony, and the brief excerpt in the teaser video below sounds really promising too.

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