Shay Mehr on
The opening to Kevin Morby’s first single off of his forthcoming album “City Music” is ethereal. “Come To Me Now” greets the listener with warm organ, an open hand leading to an existential journey through death, loneliness, alienation and yearning. Morby contemplates what happens after death, crooning “Where do you go / Boy when you die? / Is it pretty and slow? It is up real high?” before deciding “I don’t wanna know.” He yearns to see the moon, wearing of “squinting at this godawful town.” He craves companionship and intimacy, despite the “fortress around my heart.” It’s five beautiful minutes of twentysomething confusion.
“City Music,” Morby’s fourth solo album and out June 16 via Dead Oceans, is intended to be the companion to last year’s “Singing Saw.” Judging from this track, it’s right on the mark. Where “Singing Saw” conjured up rural forest imagery with a knowing authority, “Come To Me Now” exudes a darker metropolitan confusion — “City Music” will likely be “Singing Saw’” with the lights out.
Already acclaimed for writing with a wisdom beyond his 28 years, Morby himself describes the new album as a love letter to cities that have become entangled in his identity. The lyric video for the new song opens with a vintage shot of the New York City skyline, but as with his debut album “Harlem River,” the music’s geography is more emotional. After all, it could be anywhere that “You’ll burn in her sunlight / You’ll freeze in her night.”
||| Stream: “Come to Me Now”