Kip Moore Sets Date for New Album 'Wild World': Exclusive

Kip Moore
PJ Brown

Kip Moore

Kip Moore will release his fourth studio album Wild World on May 29. The country singer-songwriter penned 12 of the project’s 13 songs, including the title track -- which is available now.

“My first hope at all times is that it does something to your soul when you’re listening to it,” Moore says of his forthcoming album. “I never want it to be fodder and just words and melodies. I hope that it somehow applies to other people's lives and brings them a little peace with questions they have and their own internal struggles they’re having. I'm always hoping they can feel my heart as far as that goes. My heart was put in the project."

Moore penned “Wild World” with frequent collaborator Josh Miller (“More Girls Like You”) nine months ago. He says they were in a somber mood ahead of their co-write that caused them to pause and think about how “quick and fleeting life can be” and what their focus should be on.

“Some of these songs have become more poignant for the times now than I even realized in the moment, because there's so much about simplicity with this record,” he tells Billboard over the phone. “The headspace I was in with a lot of this record was me looking around seeing how it's easy to get away from the simplicity of life and to me that's what brings true joy and happiness: putting your happiness not in things, but in the people around you and in the simple things. So now it's hitting home more than ever.”

The song "Wild World" has Moore singing of the advice his mother and father have bestowed upon him at a young age. “They were always inspiring me to chase joy and keeping things simple and that's how ‘Wild World’ came about because I said that first line. I said, ‘Mama said wild man won’t you listen/ And come take a seat right here in the kitchen.’ And that's how the whole thing took off.”

A line that holds special meaning to Moore is heard within the third verse. “Every second is God given/ So forgive yourself, you’re just a man/ And he’s too big for us to understand,” he croons towards the song’s end. The lyric captures Moore’s faith, something he says he tries his best to rely on the older he gets.

“It's that line that I hold truly because there are a lot of things that even I hold onto. I’m really mad at myself sometimes that I didn’t spend more time with my dad before he passed when I was on the road,” he says gravely. “Also, there’s a certain relationship or two in my life that I should have given my heart a lot more. Sometimes I’m a lot more vulnerable in my music than I actually am in real life, so I think there’s a lot of things that I hold onto that I have regret with and that’s why that line was written.”

Moore’s vulnerability is showcased throughout Wild World’s 13 tracks, but it is on album closer “Payin’ Hard” that he fully lets his guard down. Written with longtime co-writers Blair Daly (“Beer Money,” “Running For You” ) and Westin Davis (“I’m to Blame,” “Guitar Man”), he says the song best describes where he was at while writing the record.

“[Blair] has such an indescribable energy in a room. I always feel so comfortable with him, and me and him and Westin were a pretty dynamic team on this record,” he says, referring to penning “Grow On You” and “Payin’ Hard” together. “They were special days in the room and when I was singing ‘Payin’ Hard’ trying to do the demo, it was so honest and so real for me at that moment. It was the first time ever, ever in my years of writing and recording that I couldn't get through a song. I couldn't sing it. I kept breaking down and I couldn't sing it.

“They kept telling me to just come back another day when you feel like you can, and I was like, ‘Nah, I want to get this out today.’ I was comfortable enough with those two; there was a strong enough friendship and bond and I was not afraid to be that vulnerable in that room with those two because I mean Westin is like my brother. I was having a really tough time singing that lyric that day, but I got it out. I finally got it done.”

The stripped-down track includes delicate acoustic guitar accompaniment and minimal percussion, allowing the poignant lyrics and Moore’s emotive vocals to be at the forefront. A song about his regrets, Moore says the whole song has grown in meaning since he first wrote it, especially when singing of his father. “It sure passed me by when I should have saw my dad/ But I plugged it in to another town/ Swore another chance would come around again,” he sings about his late father. “And now he’s gone, that kind of gone that don’t come back.”

“I think about him every day, every single day still,” he says of his father. “So I think that [line] probably resonates the most with me.”

Another highlight on the project is “Southpaw,” a guitar heavy arena rocker celebrating the underdog, which Moore also penned with Davis. The pair have been writing songs together since they first moved to Nashville well over a decade ago and this time around their writing process was different than past albums.

As Moore explains, he worked up the verse and chorus melody of “Southpaw” as well as had a few lyrics during soundcheck in South Dakota and sent them to Davis. By the time soundcheck was over, Davis sent him a rapid fire of lyrics that Moore would later put on paper and send back to him. The collaborators wrote the song via text before Moore returned to Nashville and finished the track together.

“He's really great at understanding where I'm at and I don't even have to express it. He knows. We've been kindred spirits and he’s one of my favorite people on this whole planet,” Moore says of Davis. “‘Southpaw’ was started [by] feeling out of place. I'm not left handed, but I always loved the title ‘Southpaw’ and the whole thing behind it because I was a big boxing fan growing up and the most unique thing in the boxing world was a southpaw -- a left hand.

“I've just always felt a little out of place in the way the world is right now. I don't do a lot of social media stuff … For me, a lot of times, I look around at all this stuff that we're putting our focus on and sometimes it feels kind of silly to me,” he adds. “I think that particular day it was maybe a little bit of frustration coming out [and] ‘Southpaw’ was a metaphor for feeling like I should have been born in a different time and I thought that was a cool way to tackle a song.”

The album includes Moore’s current single “She’s Mine” as well as the reflective “Janie Blu,” which he debuted at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium in February during the 2020 Country Radio Seminar. Songs like “Fire and Flame” continue to showcase Moore’s vulnerabilities and adept songwriting while the title track anchors the album.

Wild World is an apt title in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, which Moore has witnessed the repercussions of firsthand with the cancelation of an Australian headlining tour. The singer-songwriter says he and his team have been planning the album announcement over the past four months ahead of the coronavirus headlines. While he’s well aware that the virus has changed album promotion for the time being -- “everything is different” -- Moore’s goal is for his project to serve as an escape and to remind listeners of simpler times.

“‘Wild World’ sends the message that I wanted to send. I feel like this world, it's gotten a little too much. We’re getting so far away from the simplicity of things. Once I looked at the record as a whole, that was the message that made the most sense,” he explains. “‘Wild World' made the most sense to me [as the album title] because these are wild times we’re living in and we need to bring it back to the simple things.”

The complete track list to Wild World is below.

1. "Janie Blu"
(Dan Couch, Kip Moore)
2. “Southpaw"
(Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
3. "Fire And Flame"
(Cary Barlowe, Brett James, Kip Moore, Will Weatherly)
4. "Wild World"
(Josh Miller, Kip Moore)
5. "Red White Blue Jean American Dream"
(Jimi Bell, Barton Davies, Luke Dick, Philip Lammonds)
6. "She's Mine"
(Dan Couch, Kip Moore, Scott Stepakoff)
7. "Hey Old Lover"
(Dan Couch, Kip Moore)
8. "Grow On You"
(Blair Daly, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
9. "More Than Enough"
(David Garcia, Josh Miller, Kip Moore)
10. "Sweet Virginia"
(Kip Moore, Manny Medina, Erich Wigdahl)
11. “South"
(Adam Browder, Dan Couch, Manny Medina, Kip Moore, Dave Nassie, Erich Wigdahl)
12. "Crazy For You Tonight"
(Blair Daly, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
13. "Payin’ Hard"
(Blair Daly, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)