Kevin Morby announced his new album Sundowner earlier this month. He recorded the LP after moving from Los Angeles back to his Kansas City hometown, and he describes it in a statement as his “attempt to put the Middle American twilight — its beauty profound, though not always immediate — into sound.” Today, following lead single “Campfire,” he’s sharing two new songs, Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun” and “Wander.”
“‘Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun’ is my favorite song off of the new album, and the one I’m most proud of,” Morby says. “I consider space to be a prominent instrument on the song — and here it is as important as anything else you hear on the track. It was my goal to capture the vast openness of the middle American landscape sonically. To this end — there is a whole track of nothing but Texas air, birds and wind chimes living beneath the song.”
“‘Wander’ is anchored by a lyric I’ve had in my head for the past decade,” he adds. “The hook ‘I wonder as I wander why was I born in the wild wonder’ is even featured in the insert of the first Babies LP. The song is meant to steadily gain momentum before coming to an abrupt halt. It is the shortest song I’ve ever written, and is intended to be played on a loop.”
“Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun” has a lyric video made up of raw footage of the Midwestern landscape shot by Morby, and “Wander” has a Graham Shafer-directed music video starring Morby’s partner Katie Crutchfield (of Waxahatchee). “We shot the video in the middle of Kansas, showing Katie driving down an empty highway listening to the song on a tape deck, which is exactly the kind of environment I’d hope one would get to experience it in,” Morby explains. Watch and listen to both tracks below.
Sundowner is out 10/16 via Dead Oceans. Pre-order it here.