[ Dead Oceans / LP ]
Release Date: Friday 16 October 2020
The collection of new songs that would become Sundowner came together effortlessly as Kevin Morby did his best not to resist or refine the songs, but instead let them take shape all on their own. In his makeshift studio, Morby taught himself basic recording techniques. Because it had no heating or cooling elements, he was subjected to the elements - the warm and abstract summer and the icy Kansan winter. He worked largely on a Four Track Tascam model 424. "I wrote the entire album wearing headphones, hunched over the 424, letting my voice and guitar pass through the machine, getting lost in the warmth of the tape as if another version of myself was living on the inside, singing back at me," says Morby. "I was mesmerized by the magic of the four track not only as a recording device, but also an instrument, and considered it my songwriting partner throughout the whole process."
To record, Morby and producer Brad Cook headed to Texas' Sonic Ranch in January 2019, with the intent of making the record away from any coastline, and in the heart of America. "My end goal was to capture the cadence of what I had found inside the four track but make it three dimensional, and Brad seemed perfect for the job," says Morby. Aside from bass and some keys from Cook, Morby played nearly every instrument on the album - lead guitar, mellotron, and the album's secret weapon, a slightly out-of-tune pump organ. Later, James Krivchenia joined at the end of the session to fill out the percussion.
Following the recording session at Sonic Ranch, Morby toured for Oh My God, and Sundowner sat inside of a hard drive back at Sonic Ranch. It didn't see the light of day until he found himself, as did the rest of the world, stuck inside their home and in quarantine in March 2020. Brad, Jerry Ordonez (from Sonic Ranch) and Morby worked from their respective homes, sending notes back and forth to mix the album, and suddenly, just like that, Sundowner was finished.
2. Brother, Sister
6. Don't Underestimate Midwest American Sun
7. A Night At The Little Los Angeles
9. Velvet Highway