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Kevin Morby Announces New Album “This Is A Photograph” out 13th May via Dead Oceans & Shares Video for Title Track

March 3, 2022
photo credit: Chantal Anderson

Kevin Morby Announces New Album “This Is A Photograph” out 13th May via Dead Oceans & Shares Video for Title Track

Announces World Tour

Kevin Morby announces This Is A Photograph, his new album, out 13th May on Dead Oceans, and shares its title track and accompanying video which can be viewed below. The video was directed by Chantal Anderson and filmed in a remote California town, edited with Morby family photos and archived photos from the Peter J. Cohen Collection. Additionally, Morby has announced tour dates spanning the globe which are listed below.

He’s back and once again Kevin returns at the time when he is needed most. The new single bursting with this real connection, built on personal connections, memories, and meaning and written with the same heart as what inspired the new single. It’s raw, reflective, and vibrant. The sublime guitar notes pluck and form this addictive rhythmic riff, repeated, hypnotizing, gaining more intensity with the clashing drums and fast tempo. The atmospherical ensemble engulfs the audience as the innovative creation showcases this expressive detail. 

This Is A Photograph, Morby’s seventh album, finds him making an Americana paean, a visceral life and death, blood on the canvas outpouring. The creatively invigorated songwriter has managed to align his finest songs, his best vocal performances, his most incisive lyrics, and his most lush arrangements and put them all on This Is A Photograph. This is unquestionably his magnum opus.

The story begins in January 2020 with Kevin Morby absentmindedly flipping through a box of old family photos in the basement of his childhood home in Kansas City. Just hours before, at a family dinner, his father had collapsed in front of him and had to be rushed to the hospital. That night Morby still felt the shock and fear lodged in his bones. So he gazed at the images until one of the pictures jumped out at him: his father as a young man, proud and strong and filled with confidence, posing on a lawn with his shirt off. “In the photo he looks young and full of confidence, puffing his chest out at the camera as if he were looking for a fight,” explains Morby. “It was not lost on me that this was the same chest, just hours before, I had seen the ambulance put a stethoscope against as he lay on the kitchen floor of my sister’s house.” While his father regained his strength, Morby meditated on these ideas. And then, he headed to Memphis. He moved into the Peabody Hotel and spent his days paying tribute and genuflecting to the dreamers he admired; he’d head down to the banks of the Mississippi River, to the spot where Jeff Buckley met his end. He’d wander around the neighbourhood where Jay Reatard spent his last day then drive by the Stax marquee for a brief lift in his spirits. Then cruise out past Graceland, before traversing Highway 61, letting the ghosts call to him and shape his own dreams. In the evening, he would return to his room and document his ideas on a makeshift recording set-up, with just his guitar and a microphone. The songs, elegiac in nature, befitting all he had seen, poured out of him.

Once again, Sam Cohen (who had producedSinging Saw and Oh My God), helmed the project. They began in Cohen’s upstate New York studio that was still being built, along with drummer Nick Kinsey, working on the songs slowly as the journey of the recording matched the start-stop quality of 2021 itself, with magical moments sprinkled into the precarious navigations. Over time, the cast began to fill out. Former touring pianist Oliver Hill and his mother Meg and sister Charlotte provided strings. Touring compatriots Cochemea Gastelum (saxophone),Jared Samuel (organ) andAlecia Chakour (vocals, tambourine) joined the sessions as well as Eric  Johnson (banjo). And new collaborators like drummer Josh Jaeger (drums, percussion),Brandee Younger(harp), Makaya McCraven (drums), Cassandra Jenkins (vocals) and even Tim HeideckerandAlia Shawkat (the unhinged laughs on “Rock Bottom”) added to the developing picture.  And fittingly, in the end, the last sessions were held live in Memphis at Sam Philip’s Recording Co., helmed by his son Jerry Philips, which carries on with the legacy of the original Sun Records studio.

They worked on the song “This Is A Photograph” that last day, with recent Stax Academy of Music alumni singing the backing harmonies. Something so simple that had been so elusive over the previous year: people coming together to spend a few hours making music and helping to shape a dream. As the song played on, Morby’s voice reached a fever pitch: “this is what I’ll miss about being alive.” “Sam Cohen and I wanted to throw everything at the wall with this one,” says Morby. “It’s about the battle every family faces, that of chasing the clock, to live our lives and hold onto one another for as long as possible. That, and, the dreams that come with being a young family in America and where those dreams eventually end up.”

Kevin Morby UK/EU tour dates:

Fri. May 20 – Madrid, ES @ Tomavistas

Sat. May 21 – Biarritz, FR @ L’Atabal

Sun. May 22 – Montpellier, FR @ Le Rockstore

Mon. May 23 – Bordeaux, FR @ Rock School Barbey

Tue. May 24 – Paris, FR @ Le Bataclan

Wed. May 25 – Köln, DE @ Kulturekirche

Thu. May 26 – Antwerpen, BE @ De Roma

Sat. May 28 – London, UK @ Wide Awake at Brockwell Park

Sun. May 29 – Utrecht, NL @ TivoliVredenburg

Mon. May 30 – Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefährlich

Tue. May 31 – Berlin, DE @ Metropol

Wed. Jun. 1 – Schorndorf, DE @ Manufaktur

Fri. Jun. 3- Angers, FR  @ Levitation

Sat. Jun. 4 – Clermont-Ferrand, FR @ La Cooperative de Mai

Mon. Jun. 5 – Lille, FR @ Aéronef

Sun. Jul. 3 – Bologna, IT @ Covo Summer

Mon. Jul. 4 – Terni, IT @ Anfifteatro Romano

Wed. Jul. 6 – Zagreb, HR @ Mochvara

Thu. Jul. 7 – Budapest, HU @ Akvárium Klub

Fri. Jul. 8 – Trencin, Slovakia @ Pohoda Festival

Sat. Jul. 9 – Zittau, DE @ Lonesome Lake Festival

Mon. Jul. 11 – Vienna, AT @ WUK

Tue. Jul. 12 – Munich, DE @ Ampere

Wed. Jul. 13 – Bern, CH @ Gurtenfestival

Fri. Jul. 15 – Lisbon, PT @ Super Bock Super Rock

Sun. Aug. 21 – Erlanger, DE @ Ewerk

Mon. Aug. 22 – Hannover, DE @ Café Glocksee

Wed. Aug. 24 – Copenhagen, DK @ Punpehuset

Sat. Aug. 27 – Prague, CZ @ Meetfactory

Mon. Aug. 28 – Darmstadt, DE @ Golden Leaves Festival

Wed. Aug. 31 – Brighton, UK @ Chalk

Sat. Sept. 3 – Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival

Sun. Sept. 4 – Manchester, UK @ Band on the Wall

Mon. Sept. 5 – Glasgow, UK @ Classic Grand

Tue. Sept. 6 – Leeds, UK @ The Brudenell Social Club

Wed. Sept. 7 – Dublin, IE @ Academy

1. Intro

2. This Is A Photograph

3. A Random Act Of Kindness

4. Bittersweet, TN

5. Disappearing

6. A Coat Of Butterflies

7. Rock Bottom

8. Forever Inside A Picture

9. Five Easy Pieces

10. Stop Before I Cry

11. It’s Over

12. Goodbye To Good Times


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