Kip Moore is known for some of his adventurous escapades, such as rock climbing and underwater sea diving. But, every now and then his curiosity gets the best of him, at least for a moment. He recalls one activity where he instantly wondered what he had gotten himself into.
“This past winter, I went paddling out at Ho’okipa on a big day in Maui on the north side,” he recalled to Billboard. “I am a decent surfer. I do it when I can, but I’ve never really had the chance to live around it, but I take trips to do it. I can get down a little bit, but that was a little out of my league on this particular day, so just to paddle out and to see how big the swells were coming in, I thought ‘What in the world have I gotten myself into?’ Once I got on one of them and rode it to the end, it was probably one of the most thrilling moments of my life.”
Still, the Georgia native doesn’t plan on giving up his day job for a professional career on the beach. This Friday (September 8), the singer released Slowheart, his third studio album, which he feels is most representative of where he is right now: “I feel this my strongest body of work that I’ve had from top to bottom. The melodies are the strongest, and the more you live with the songs, the more your favorites change and they take on a new meaning. I feel like sonically, it’s by far the biggest and most lush sound I’ve had, too.”
The release of Slowheart is one that is being looked forwarded to eagerly by Moore’s die-hard fan base, who he said have been there in good times – and not so fruitful ones. “They have lifted us up throughout the ebbs and flows of any commercial success. The Up All Night record was a massively successful album, as to where Wild Ones was this underground, cult-type record that took shape among people passing the record around. It tripled our fan base in size, which has been a beautiful thing. That also gave me the confidence to to write this record, and make the record I wanted to make.”
The music on the disc represents a wide array of emotions, including the wry sarcasm of “Blonde,” of which he says touches on “how insanely vain this world has gotten” — and how accepted that vain world has become.
“That’s the craziest part. We even touch on social media or poke fun of people taking selfies of themselves in the bathroom or the bed in the morning, you are considered the weirdo. Five years ago, if you would have seen somebody doing that, you would have thought ‘What the hell?’ We were talking about how people are in the business of trying to be famous just for the thought of being famous. It’s whatever it takes to get that little ounce of fame. Whatever piece of your soul you have to sell to do it. That’s what we we’re talking about in the song.”
Moore also shows his humorous side on “I’ve Been Around,” which he confesses was inspired by his real-life experiences. “That song is basically me poking fun at the positions that I’ve found myself in from what has happened in my career. I’m a kid from South Georgia that has spent most of his life running around barefoot with no shirt, at fishing holes and on backroads. It’s a look at some of the places I’ve been and the characters I’ve been around. I’ve never cared about material things, but here I am hob-knobbing with these people and drinking thousand-dollar bottles of wine, when I’d be okay if it was a five dollar bottle from down the road. It’s just kind of being silly about where my life can go at times.”
Perhaps the moment on the album that stands as the most intimate performance of his career is on “Guitar Man,” a track where Moore held nothing back emotionally.
“It’s my life in a song – of chasing where I want to go It’s my tip of the hat to all those dreamers who are still in those honky-tonks and bars. I did it just like they did for so many years, playing other people’s music. But, I always had the dream of playing my own. It’s a song that faces all the vulnerabilities that you feel, the honest pieces that you face every day when you are outside that hamster wheel of life, and you are trying to chase a dream, and you’re not making any money. You face all the vulnerabilities that you feel inside, and that’s what that song is about.”
The singer will be taking his new music on the road during the remainder of 2017, including a multi-date run to the United Kingdom next month. Are audiences across the pond different from those stateside? Sure, but he stresses that no two crowds are alike.
“People are just different from pocket to pocket — it doesn’t mean that people are better or worse. People internalize music in a different way. Some are more outlandish about it, while some are very internal. I feel like the audience over there is always seeking authenticity. I don’t feel like they are tricked as easy a lot of times as how we can be tricked. If they feel like something is phony, they don’t buy into it as quickly, and they will also turn their back on it pretty fast.”
He went on to say that audiences overseas are always interested to know the little details about the music they hear, down to the liner notes. “It’s always interesting that when they come up to you, they are not just focused on getting a picture. They want to talk with you about the lyrics, which is very different.”
The travel – both for career and for fun – allows him to ponder the career that he has been fortunate enough to carve out since the release of his first single, 2011’s “Mary Was The Marrying Kind.” He doesn’t take a day of it for granted.
“I think about it all the time, and I think that’s what traveling around does for me. It allows me to reflect on where I’ve been, where I am, and where I would go. I think about how blessed I am to be one of the few people who gets to wake up everyday and truly do what they love, and make a living doing it. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve worked hard for it, but I’m truly blessed.”