Kip Moore’s ‘Slowheart’ Is Next Chapter In Evolving Career

Kip Moore knows the instant that a new album is about to transpire. “It’s like all of a sudden a light starts,” says the singer, whose next project Slowheart will be released Sept. 8. “With whatever I’ve internalized with relationships, being on the road, and observing life in general, there is a distinct thing that happens and I feel it the moment it starts. Within weeks or a month, I know I’m about to write a record.”

Slowheart—named for that inclination to internalize—processes and puts on display those experiences and emotions, taking fans on a journey of colorful imagery and interesting characters. “I watched her pack up her mink coat, pink stilettos and rosary,” he sings on “Just Another Girl.”

Moore’s ongoing story is full of summer flings (“Sunburn”), smoking with Slash (“I’ve Been Around”), sloe gin fizz and fast women (“Fast Women”), but balances it with plenty of grounded material. There’s lost love (“Plead The Fifth”), sincere devotion (“Try Again”), hopefulness (“More Girls Like You”), sunny romance (“Good Thing”), and self-reflection (“Guitar Man”). Along the way, he finds unique perspectives for music’s most timeless topic—love. (If you were my last breath I’d just wanna hold ya.—“Last Shot.”)

“I always want my records to evolve with who I am and what I’m feeling,” he says. “What those vulnerabilities and insecurities are at that time of my life. What my hope is at that time of my life.”

As sole producer of the project, Moore conjures sing-along choruses and guitar hooks galore. Having co-produced his two previous albums, doing it alone this time was a natural step. “I had lived with these songs for so long and I had been imagining all these arrangements,” he continues. “I had a blueprint for each and every one. I knew exactly the sound I wanted. And I didn’t want anybody to deter me from that sound.”

Moore cut about 25 tracks before whittling it down to the final 13. Slowheart was recorded mostly at Southern Ground studio, with the exception of lead single “More Girls Like You” and “Blonde,” which he and co-writer David Garcia recorded at Garcia’s home studio, playing all the instruments themselves.

The singer brought that well-thought-out vision to his recording of “Bittersweet Company,” a song about a fading long-term relationship. “It was such a slow, melancholy acoustic thing when I wrote it,” he says. “I live with it for a while before I go in to record it. I think, ‘How is this song going to grab people live? How am I going to get the maximum feeling and emotion out of this song?’ I think of all the elements, like what that title means. Bittersweet is a contradiction of each other, it’s a double-edged sword. The music and the lyric is a contradiction of each other. The lyric is a heart-wrenching, sad thing, but yet I put this happy melody on top of it. It feels like a straight old-school ‘90s rock ‘n’ roll song to me.”

Moore’s fans and albums have followed him through all phases of his life, starting in 2012 with the small-town nostalgia and young love found on Up All Night. In 2015 he offered the rock-oriented Wild Ones, with snapshots of his life following three No. 1s. Upcoming Slowheart blends the storytelling of his first outing with the rock grooves of Wild Ones to become its own piece of art.

“The reason the records are never going to sound the same is because I’m never going to be that guy that’s going to write in hopes of holding on to commercial success,” says Moore. “If the commercial success happens, that’s the gravy part of it. I’m going to write to the fans that have been there with me, and are growing and evolving with me. And about what pertains to my life. I see that all the time with artists, I know exactly what their record’s going to sound like before they put it out. That bores me and I feel like that is basically trying to keep the train rolling on whatever has gotten you there. I can’t write ‘Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck’ again. I can sing it, because I can go back to that nostalgic place, but I can’t write that song again, because it’s not relative to my life anymore. I had yet to travel the world and experience things the way I have. I don’t have that in my well anymore and I don’t want to go try to dig it back up just in hopes of maybe grabbing a hit. And that gets pressed on me all the time. You start getting in the corporate side of things….I’m always like, ‘Guys, it’s not gonna happen. This is another chapter.’”

The current chapter shows Moore recording outside songs for the first time, including “The Bull,” a song by Jon Randall and Luke Dick about flipping the bird to “all the bulls that bucked me off.” Moore says, “That’s the first time a song had really punched me in the mouth like that that wasn’t mine. That’s how I feel about everything right now.”

And though Slowheart hasn’t even been released, Moore is evolving to the next chapter. “I’ve already been writing what I think will be the feel of the next record after this one,” he says. “You’ll find out, but it’s completely different than Slowheart. I’m still the same person at my core. But where I’m at musically right now is completely different from where I was a year ago. I want there to always be a direct correlation of my life and what I’m making musically.”

In the meantime, Moore is itching to share Slowheart with fans on the road. “That’s the hardest part,” he sums. “When you’ve been sitting on all these songs and waiting to play them live. Because I write around that.”

His headlining Plead The Fifth Tour kicks off Oct. 19.

Moore will perform in Nashville on Sept. 10. He is teaming up with skateboarding champion Tony Hawk for the Music City Skate Jam presented by Harley-Davidson. The event at Music City Walk Of Fame Park will include a skate demo by Hawk with proceeds benefitting Kip’s Kids Fund and the Tony Hawk Foundation.

SLOWHEART Track List:

1.Plead The Fifth (Luke Dick, Josh Kear)

2. Just Another Girl (Kip Moore, Westin Davis, Ben Helson)

3. I’ve Been Around (Kip Moore, Dan Couch)

4. Fast Women (Kip Moore, Blair Daly, Westin Davis and Troy Verges)

5. Bittersweet Company (Kip Moore, Josh Miller, Troy Verges)

6. Sunburn (Kip Moore, David Garcia, Josh Miller, Steven Olsen)

7. More Girls Like You (Kip Moore, Steven Olsen, Josh Miller, David Garcia)

8. The Bull (Jon Randall, Luke Dick)

9. Blonde (Kip Moore, Steven Olsen, Josh Miller, David Garcia)

10. Good Thing (Kip Moore, Josh Miller, Troy Verges)

11. Last Shot (Kip Moore, Dan Couch, David Lee Murphy)

12. Try Again (Kip Moore, David Garcia, Josh Miller)

13. Guitar Man (Kip Moore, Dan Couch, Westin Davis)

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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