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Woods’ bassist Kevin Morby first acquainted us with his more personal work when he teamed up with Vivian Girls’ Cassie Ramone under the moniker The Babies – an American indie rock band that carries a kind of country music soulfulness to their tunes. Morby has now marked his debut as a solo songwriter with the release of Harlem River – an album that pays homage to New York City.

Due November 26 on Woodsist, Harlem River exemplifies Morby’s command of storytelling with a collection of eight songs that interweave tragedy, love, death, and misfortune. Fans of Morby’s previous projects (Woods’ and the Babies) be forewarned – Harlem River is a deeply personal insight into Morby as a solo artist that as a whole carries little resemblance to his previous work. If the Babies’ Our House on the Hill was a rambling Americana rock album, Harlem River slows it down as Morby channels his inner Bob Dylan.

Recorded in Los Angeles in February and March with producer Rob Barbato, the album features The Babies’ Justin Sullivan on drums, as well as contributions from White Fence‘s Tim Presley, Dan Lead, Cate Le Bon, and Will Canzoneri. Along with the release of singles “Miles, Miles, Miles” and “Slow Train,” Morby has completed an album trailer that features a third new song. Catch both below, and then get full details on Morby’s December 3 show at Rickshaw Stop supporting Le Bon.

 
Cate Le Bon, Kevin Morby
Rickshaw Stop
December 3, 2013
8pm, $10 (all ages)