Kevin Morby and Hamilton Leithauser Share New Song, "Virginia Beach"

The duo's Fall Mixer North American tour kicks off this week

Music News Kevin Morby & Hamilton Leithauser
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Kevin Morby and Hamilton Leithauser Share New Song, "Virginia Beach"

Ahead of their co-headlining Fall Mixer North American tour, Kevin Morby and Hamilton Leithauser have shared a collaborative track, “Virginia Beach,” via Dead Oceans. The singer/songwriters are hitting the road this week in support of Morby’s 2020 album Sundowner and recently released companion piece A Night At The Little Los Angeles, and Leithauser’s 2020 album The Loves of Your Life.

Co-written by the duo, and produced and mixed by Leithauser, “Virginia Beach” is part Bob Dylan, part The Band, and all Americana. Fingerpicked acoustic guitar is the tip of the song’s spear, but Morby and Leithauser incorporate elements as disparate as they are, from a jammy lead guitar and country two-step bass line to horns, keys and eerie backing vocals. “Virginia Beach” roams restlessly in both its instrumentation and lyrics, with Morby and Leithauser joining voices as they sing, “I have been through badlands Montana / From the white sands of a haunted Kansas, covered snow / Of Paris, Idaho.”

“I wanted to do a modern take on a dark country song which would transform into more of a dark dance groove,” Leithauser explains in a statement. “I also wrote an entire vocal track over it but just didn’t think my voice was taking it anywhere new, so I sent the track to Kevin Morby. His voice sounds nothing like my own, and his songs usually have a very different structure than mine. I thought maybe he could take it in a new direction.

“He told me he wanted to write a traveling song, maybe mentioning some places people don’t sing about that much, and he sent me some lyrics. I loved it and wrote my ‘Virginia Beach’ lines right then and there, and sent them back to him.”

Morby recalls, “Maybe it was being in one place for almost two years, or maybe it was the mysterious and kinetic energy of the composition, but I found myself compelled to write of all the bizarre yet beautiful corners of America one often overlooks that a touring musician inevitably finds themselves in while out on the road. The Paris Idahos and the Texarkanas.

“It was my attempt at evoking Cash and Dylan’s ‘Wanted Man’ or Barbara Keith’s ‘Detroit or Buffalo,’ or any of those other lost country and rock ‘n’ roll songs that shout out cities off the beaten path. Cities that down-and-out characters race towards in an attempt to outrun themselves. Though, of course—as the saying goes, no matter where you go, there you are.”

Listen to “Virginia Beach” and revisit Leithauser’s 2016 Daytrotter session below. You’ll find Morby and Leithauser’s tour dates further down.

Kevin Morby and Hamilton Leithauser Fall Mixer Tour Dates:

October
14 – Richmond, VA @ The National *
15 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom *
16 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel *
18 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse *
19 – Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl *
21 – Houston, TX @The Heights Theater *
22 – Dallas, TX @ Kessler Theater *
23 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater *
25 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
26 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park *
27 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel *
28 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall *
29 – Sonoma, CA @ Gundlach Bundschu Winery *

November
01 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom *
02 – Tacoma, WA @ Spanish Ballroom *
03 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre *
05 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory *
06 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall *
08 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre *
10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line *
11 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre *
12 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue *
13 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall *
15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre *
17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel *
18 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall *
19 – Boston, MA @ Royale *
20 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground *
22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
23 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club *

May 2022
20 – Madrid, ES @ Tomavistas
21 – Biarritz, FR @ L’Atabal
22 – Montpellier, FR @ Le Rockstore
23 – Bordeaux, FR @ Rock School Barbey
24 – Paris, FR @ Le Bataclan
25 – Köln, DE @ Kulturkirche
26 – Antwerpen, BE @ De Roma
29 – Utrecht, NL @ TivoliVredenburg (Ronda)
30 – Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefährlich
31 – Berlin, DE @ Metropol

June 2022
01 – Schorndorf, DE @ Manufaktur
04 – Clermont-Ferrand, FR @ La Cooperative de Mai
05 – Lille, FR @ Aéronef

(* = w/ Hamilton Leithauser)