Still Life is the second solo album from Kevin Morby, formerly the bassist of Woods and guitarist for The Babies, who are currently on hiatus. Listening to the album opener, “The Jester, The Tramp & the Acrobat,” Morby immediately reminds me of Cass McCombs in vocal style and composition. (Also see Track 6 Re: Cass McCombs sound) Both guys are storytellers lyrically, in the tradition of Bob Dylan, right down to the dropped off vocal drawl.
A good portion of this record sounds more fleshed out (and the work of a full live band) than Morby’s debut. (great use of bass, drums and organs)
Track 3 “Motors Runnin” has a jangly (Feelies-like) guitar upfront and later gives way to a (Galaxie 500) style guitar solo.
Track 7 “Parade” has a timeless/classic sound about it. Opening with a clean electric guitar tone, drums and adding a tinkling piano and saxophone, this is probably the album highlight. “Parade” also adds some double-layered lead vocals and female backing vocal (bah bah bahs) for good measure. Lyrically it’s a bit new-agey, revolving around the line “If I were to die today…”
RIYL: Cass McCombs, Bob Dylan, Kurt Vile, Jim James
Recommended tracks: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9