Album review: Kevin Morby, “City Music”

by Jon E. Lynch

Kevin Morby, “City Music” Available: Friday, June 16, via Dead Oceans as a download, CD, and LP. Pre-order directly from the label to receive “a limited-edition pamphlet – A Guide To The Cities That Inspired City Music. This delightful folded print evokes vintage city guides and highlights the places central to Morby’s songwriting.”

On April 25, 2016, Kevin Morby (The Babies front-person and former Woods bassist) released his Dead Oceans debut, “Singing Saw,” to widespread critical acclaim. “City Music,” released just a little over a year later, in his own words, “is a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot get rid of, to those cities that are all inside of me.” Beautifully realized with his Babies bandmates Megan Duffy (guitar) and Justin Sullivan (drums), the album was co-produced alongside multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift, a one-time member of The Shins, who is now playing with The Arcs in addition to touring as a member of The Black Keys. “City Music” is an homage to life spent on the road, a contemplation on the rigors of a grueling touring cycle filtered through a modern day bard, and an intensely sentimental offering to those people and cities that have left an indelible mark. It should come as little surprise that this record is a perfect companion piece to the road trip, quintessentially indicative of summer.

Recommended for those that would spin Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, James Jackson Toth/Wooden Wand, Kurt Vile or Tim Presley/White Fence while on that long summer drive.

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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