For almost two months now, Kevin Morby has been steadily building to the release of his newest album Oh My God. The new project, which is out next Friday, has been preceded by two diverse singles with strikingly surreal videos to accompany them. And today he’s dropped the third and final one with “OMG Rock n Roll.”
In the initial announcement of Oh My God, Morby said that themes of the LP would all be circling around the ides of religion in some form. So far we’ve gotten s little bit of an understanding of what that means considering both singles have been lyrically interested in exploring this concept. “OMG Rock n Roll” might be the most direct, simplistic iteration on this theme though. It doesn’t feature too many individual lyrics, yet you get what’s going on here. It’s made all the more evident with the video, which once again was directed by Christopher Good.
There might be more going on here though as Kevin Morby has further elaborated on the deeper meanings, stating:
”It’s meant to be playful, despite the morbid subject matter, and sing sonic praise to rock n roll as a religious experience. More than anything – it’s [a song] about gun violence in America. Sutherland Springs, Vegas, Parkland…the list gets longer each year, filled with more cities, more innocent victims and yet nothings fundamentally changed. It’s a sad, scary and ultimately incredibly frustrating affair. We’ve all made peace with the fact that every time we leave the house we could be senselessly murdered at the hands of someone who should never have been given that power. The song is meant to mirror a public tragedy with its hard pan to the choir almost two minutes in. It’s rolling along, living it’s best life, when suddenly, with a gasp, reality has been turned upside down and all there’s left to do is pray to god you don’t die.”
What’s perhaps most interesting about the song is how it changes. Throughout a little over half of its 2.5 minute runtime it chugs along with a simple throwback take on rock n roll music. But suddenly there’s this jarringly abrupt shift into a gospel-like section. Regardless of how I might feel about this song, it certainly is keeping me interested to see what the whole album sounds like. I imagine it’ll play very well as a full album experience. Just one more week till I find out if that’s true. In the meantime…
Watch the video for “OMG Rock n Roll” below.
Oh My God is out April 26 via Dead Oceans. Pre-order it now.