Kansas City native folk rocker and fearless nomad Kevin Morby has announced his fifth solo record, Oh My God. The former Woods bassist and The Babies singer made a name for himself with his acclaimed releases, the latest being 2017’s City Music. On this upcoming double LP, Morby conceptually explores the human experience through religion, as is noted by a recent press release:
“Religion is around all of us. It’s a universal language and there is profound beauty in it. I’ve found it a useful tool within songwriting, as it’s something everyone can relate to on some level. There are religious themes or imagery in a lot of what I’ve done, so I wanted to get all of that out and speak only that language for a whole record."
Along with the announcement comes the album’s leading single, “No Halo,” as well as a surrealist music video directed by Chris Good, who will be directing a series of videos accompanying multiple songs from Oh My God.
An excellent demonstration of Morby’s intricate songwriting, "No Halo" gently opens with vintage electric piano chords before being propelled forward by subtle yet intricate percussive claps and toms. “When I was a boy/No rooftop on my joy,” Morby, a vocal disciple of Leonard Cohen’s, croons between tastefully placed piano riffs. A soft synth builds tension behind the piano chords as Morby counts down in the pre–chorus. Never shying away from eclectic instrumentation, a flute sounds off in the background, swiftly fluttering as the song breaks down into its cinematic second verse. The track feels ominously beautiful, focusing on a loss of innocence as one ages—hence the “no halo.”
Oh My God will be released April 26 via Dead Oceans, and Morby has announced a North American tour kicking off in May. You can catch him in Philadelphia at Union Transfer on June 2 and presave Oh My God now.