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Kevin Morby Takes A Hard Look At God In America

Apr 23, 2019

Kevin Morby's new album is unlike anything he's done before. Gone is the guitar (for the most part) from his earlier recordings. In its place are more droning instruments — sounds more suited for church than the concert hall, including a recurring, small choir. The subject for the album is God and our culture's relationship with God, from deep introspection to the trivial, everyday use of that ever-present expression "oh my God."

The origins of his album Oh My God began in 2016 with events at the forefront of American politics, including mass shootings at the Bataclan and Pulse nightclubs, the death of Freddie Gray and, for Kevin Morby, the day-to-day news, including the Presidency of Donald Trump. (Kevin Morby wrote a one-off song in 2016 about the heartbreak of the world called "Beautiful Strangers," and donated proceeds to charity.)

On this edition of All Songs Considered we look at the origin story behind Oh My God, including Nina Simone's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," music from Ethiopia and the quirky, groundbreaking New York duo Suicide.

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