Kevin Morby has shared a new single, ‘Rock Bottom’, lifted from his forthcoming record This Is a Photograph. The song features album producer Sam Cohen on bass, backing vocals by Cassandra Jenkins, and laugh tracks from Tim Heidecker and Alia Shawkat. It arrives with a music video directed by Johnny Eastlund and featuring Tim Heidecker and nunchucker Ariel Kelloggdirected. Check it out below.
Of the song and video, Morby said in a statement:
I’d often pass a mural of the late James Lee Lindsey Jr. on Main Street (in Memphis) which eventually lead me down a rabbit hole to revisiting his body of work including watching the 2009 documentary filmed during his last days, Better Than Something. I was taken by how similar his story was to that of many other American icons that were ahead of their time and too-quickly rose from the bottom to the top, inevitably burning out. I read that his stage name, Jay Reatard, was worn as a badge of honor after years of being picked on in grade school – which may or may not be why on the cover of his seminal album Blood Visions he’s covered in blood as a nod to Sissy Spacek’s character in Carrie. Because of this I chose to begin the song by repeating ‘they’re all gonna laugh at you!’ When in the studio I pointed at the last Reatard’s album, Grown Up, Fucked Up as a reference for what I was trying to achieve sonically.
For the video, director Johnny Eastlund and I decided we wanted to make an Ice Cream themed Nunchucking Western so I tagged in one of my instagram nunchuck idols Ariel Kellog to help me battle an evil talent show judge, played by Tim Heidecker, who is taunting his contestants, most notably a little girl in a bumble bee costume. The video also features comedian Caleb Heron, my bandmate Cyrus Gengras, Azniv Korkejian (aka Bedouine), Jess Wolfe (who is 1/2 of Lucius), and more.
Today, Morby is also launching a newsletter on Substack called Kevin Morby’s Fam Club. This Is a Photograph, the follow-up to 2020’s Sundowner, is out May 13 via Dead Oceans. Morby previously unveiled the album’s title track.