Kevin Morby has spent most of his life in bands, formerly a member of rustic psychedelicists Woods and side-project The Babies, he is now seemingly revelling in the freedom awarded to those who go it alone, with ‘City Music’ the other side of the coin to 2016 breakthrough album ‘The Singing Saw’. Both albums were written at the same time during a period of solitude and reflection for Morby as he left New York for LA and found himself alone for the first time in his life.
While the songs that became ‘Singing Saw’ reflected a pastoral isolation and sense of someone lost in the wilderness, ‘City Music’ as the title suggests, paints a picture of the restless urbane experience of living in New York. Morby’s songs are largely indebted to the master-craftsmen of the form, with Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell as clear influences, but with ‘City Music’ he adds shades of Lou Reed and Patti Smith, the consummate chroniclers of Metropolitan life, into the mix. Reflecting the ebb and flow of city life, the songs here shift tempo more than previous releases, with Ramones tribute ‘1234’ a short burst of adrenaline through the fog!
This is a must hear for fans of Kurt Vile, Bill Callahan or Damien Jurado