Kevin Morby – Harlem River

Kevin Morby – Harlem River (Woodsist)

Although he originally hails from Kansas City and now lives in LA, Babies singer/guitarist and Woods bassist Kevin Morby called New York City home for five years. His solo debut, Harlem River, is an homage to his adoptive home town, named after the river that separates Manhattan from the Bronx. Much like the humble waterway that is its namesake, Harlem River meanders along at a variable but mostly relaxed pace, occupying a territory somewhere between the Babies’ exuberant garage pop and Woods’ stonery jams. Though the album focuses on tales of desperation and failure, Morby’s world-weary vocals are wonderfully counterbalanced by hopeful and lovely guitar melodies that seem to hint at why, in spite of terrible odds, so many would move to NYC in pursuit of their dreams.