KEVIN MORBY : MUSICIAN
This is “UNTITLED”: A series profiling American artists and creatives to share their stories and connection to design in modern America.
We interviewed Kevin, giving him a single-use camera and one roll of film to document the days leading up to his 2019 tour wearing our Spring Collection.
Kevin Morby is an American musician, singer and songwriter based in Kansas City. Since beginning his solo career in 2013, he has released four critically acclaimed records, with his fifth and highly anticipated album Oh My God set to debut at the end of this month. We caught up with Kevin before his latest show in Los Angeles, where he premiered an accompanying short film influenced by the sound and vision behind his forthcoming album.
The first guitar I ever got as a kid was out of a Sears catalog when I was ten. The first two years I had it, I didn’t know how to tune it. I would write songs on this cheap guitar that was really out of tune.
In Kansas City I would play around town under my own name. I’d play in various punk bands and was sort of part of the punk scene. And then I moved to New York City. Quickly after moving I joined a band called Woods, and it all really started from there. I joined another band called The Babies and was with them for five years, and then I left both of them and started making records on my own. That’s the short version.
I’m always writing songs. I do that alone. It’ll get to a point where I have four or five songs that share a general thread––there’s a theme running through them. Once that happens, I notice I’m writing in a certain direction and that’s the blueprint of the record. Once I’ve realized that I have a concept I’m working on, it’s about filling it out. I come up with the beginning, middle, end and fill in the gaps.
Q: You’re releasing your album Oh My God with a companion short film. Tell us more about that.
It’s definitely a new creative outlet for me. My friend Chris Good from Kansas City directed it. He’s done a lot of stuff for great bands and music videos, including all my music videos for this album. I wrote the script––it’s a visual representation alongside the album and a fun way to explore it. The whole record is weaved in and out of the film.
The most difficult thing is letting go. It’s like letting your baby go. It’s a vulnerable thing where people judge as they please.
Q: What is your favorite American city and why?
I love Academy Records in Brooklyn, Harvest Records in Asheville, North Carolina, Love Garden Sounds in Lawrence, Kansas, Mills Record Company in Kansas City. Out in LA I love Permanent Records. I think my favorite in the whole country is Mississippi Records in Portland, Oregon.