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Kevin Morby: Singing Saw [Slipcase] *

Track List

>Cut Me Down
>I Have Been to the Mountain
>Singing Saw
>Drunk and on a Star
>Ferris Wheel
>Black Flowers

Album Reviews:

Mojo (Publisher) - Ranked #23 in Mojo's 'The 50 Best Albums Of 2016' -- "Ancient skills with a cutting edge."

NME (Magazine) - "Using twilight walks into the mountains as inspiration and the shabby house he shares with his girlfriend, his guitars and an old piano as his base, Morby cooked up a glorious third album."

Pitchfork (Website) - "[H]is references add up to something more than their parts and when paired with his unerring feel for arrangement and style."

Clash (magazine) - "From the warm analogue production feel to the blemished vocal takes, SINGING SAW sounds timeless, with flashes of Dylan, cult SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN star Rodriguez, and Bill Fay throughout."

Album Notes

Personnel: Kevin Morby (vocals, guitar, piano); Sam Cohen (guitar, keyboards, drums).

Photographer: Dusdin Condren.

On his first two albums, Kevin Morby made a name for himself as a singer/songwriter with a finely burnished voice, sensitively wrought lyrics, and a good ear for arrangements. On his third album, and first for Dead Oceans, Morby worked with producer Sam Cohen (of Yellowbirds) to expand his sound a little, while still staying true to the honest approach he'd almost perfected already. The duo surround Morby's trenchant songs with a rich tapestry of sound, adding keyboards, electronic squiggles, mariachi horns, backing vocals, and even singing saws to the mix. They actually met while playing in a Band tribute band and the influence certainly comes through in the various forms of Americana they cycle through on the album. The full-to-the-breaking-point arrangements of some of the songs, like "I Have Been to the Mountain" and "Dorothy" (both of which feature some first-rate fuzz bass work by Cohen), definitely capture the rollicking, jolly feel of the Band they exuded at their best. The keen eye given to sound throughout helps the quieter tracks too, with the buzzing keyboards and blown-out guitar tones of the title track giving the hushed ballad an expansive range, which is held down solidly by Morby's strong vocals. He's the rock-solid center of all the songs, whether they're fully arranged or sparsely decorated. His lyrics don't tell stories as much as they capture moments or explore small feelings, something the elegiac, expansive arrangements really help bring to life. While Morby's last two records were good (sometimes even great), working with Cohen turned out to be a very wise decision that added an extra dimension to his work. The match of songs and sounds on Singing Saw delivers on all the promise of his earlier records, while firmly establishing Morby as one of the best singer/songwriters going. ~ Tim Sendra


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