Released on September 8th, ‘Slowheart’, the third album from Kip Moore is an open, honest and authentic slice of Country/Americana from one of the genre’s hardest working artists. We were lucky enough to catch up with Kip and talk to him about the album.
Thanks for speaking to us Kip, let’s start right at the beginning with ‘Plead the Fifth’, a song with serious 80’s overtones. Was that deliberate?
There’s a lot of different influences on that track. I’m a big fan of the 80’s, so a lot of that stuff is naturally in my blood when I go to produce a song. That particular track touches on what I think so many people feel – that place of stubbornness where you don’t want to admit how you truly feel about somebody. We’ve all had that person in our lives and a lot of my songs, particularly the ones I wrote before I went off on my travels to Iceland and Costa Rica, reflect that feeling of being stuck in that stubborn place. Then there are songs, like ‘Try Again’, that were written after my travels that have more of a feeling of hope about them. ‘Plead the Fifth’, like other songs such as ‘Fast Women’ and ‘Bittersweet Company’, were recorded before I left, before I took a break from music and went off travelling.
‘The Bull’ is the first song you’ve not written or co-written although it did come to you via long time collaborator, Luke Dick.
You’re right! That one was the first one. I was drawn in by the feel of the song and the message of the song. Coming off of ‘Wild Ones’, I still had a sort of ‘chip on my shoulder’ about the music industry and ‘The Bull’ embodied everything I was feeling at that time. The minute I heard it I knew I had to record it. The whole song has a completely different feel to anything I’ve recorded before and I was drawn to that, as I thought it expanded the sonic sound of the record as well. I feel like we captured the spirit of the song really well.
‘Blonde’ is another song that feels very much at home on a Kip Moore album, but is a slightly different sound for you too. Is it about anyone in particular?
It is kind of an overall observing of social media these days and how some people have completely lost their minds in trying to chase fame for the sake of being famous. It came from watching some people I knew on social media and some people I didn’t. Some people just seem to be willing to do anything for a few seconds of fame, man.
Let’s talk about two songs on Slowheart that might not be getting as much initial attention as others. The first is ‘Sunburn’ and the second is ‘Last Shot’.
I don’t know what you have been looking at, but there’s a lot of people talking about ‘Last Shot’! I think ‘Last Shot’ will be one of the biggest songs on the record, it’s definitely going to be a single for us somewhere down the line. We think it’s got a little bit of Aerosmith in it, even the lyrical approach has a little bit of those Steven Tyler (Aerosmith lead singer) colours to it. I wanted each song to really stand out and have an individual quality to it, from the guitar tone, to the feel to the mix yet it all works cohesively together as a whole – that’s what we were going for.
There’s a different guitar sound across many of the songs on the album.
We really strived to make each song interesting in its own right and have that individualism. We didn’t want to use the same old basic guitar sound on each song, we really dug deep for a lot of these sounds. For ‘Sunburn’, ‘More Girls Like You’ and ‘Blonde’ they were all my initial guitar takes that we just kept and then kinda built around. We just kinda messed with some sounds and all of a sudden had the riff to ‘Sunburn’ and the opening of ‘Blonde’.
Did you have to fight the record company to get ‘Guitar Man’ onto Slowheart, thats a very different sounding song for you?
I did not. They loved it and I think they knew how special it is to me, so when they heard it they knew not to mess with it! I think people are really going to love that one live this time around. The song is about the desperate nature of chasing the whole thing. Having played those bars for years before I ever became a name I was faceless for so many nights. You gave people the time of their lives yet you would go home with that empty feeling, you would go home alone with that feeling of wanting so much more. That was my life for so many years, playing the clubs and bars.
That was essentially the whole of your 20’s, yes?
Yep, it was just music for the most part. Working odd jobs, working night jobs, writing songs and trying to study the greats and work out why I loved them so much. My early 20’s were in Georgia then I moved to Hawaii, but for the most part, I was singing other people’s songs.
So that’s where something like ‘Reckless’ came from then?
Definitely, that’s where ‘Reckless’ came from. Years and years of my life just playing the bars and trying to make a living doing anything during the day. Chasing after the dream and being continually kicked in the teeth! I want to always be authentic when I’m writing my music. I’ll never try and chase after a hit or the younger generation just to stay relevant. I’m hoping my audience grows with me as I grow. I feel like some audiences are very narrow to a specific type or artists, whereas I get all ages at my shows. I’m trying to build a base that gives me the longevity to play music for a long time!
Slowheart is available now and Kip is on tour in the UK in early October with Drake White.