36.1627 N, 86.7816 W.
31.4505 N, 83.5085 W.
10.3235 N, 85.8419 W.
63.4186 N, 19.0060 W.
These longitude and latitude coordinates, marking Nashville; Tifton, Georgia; Playa Grande, Costa Rica; and Iceland (no city given), respectively, are sprinkled throughout “The Journey to ‘Slowheart’,” the documentary country singer Kip Moore released last November to give fans an inside look into the making of his third studio album.
“Slowheart,” which was released in September of last year, came after Moore spent almost four months traveling the world.
He usually travels when he finishes a tour, but this time a lengthier break was a necessity.
“I really needed to get away,” he said in an interview in September. “I was at a standstill with not only the record, but I needed some balance and I was pretty fried.”
While trying to rediscover the joy of making a record, he spent time rock climbing in Kentucky, at home with family in Georgia, scrambling all over southern Iceland and surfing in Costa Rica.
His time in Iceland proved to be particularly influential.
“Iceland was the most powerful, profound experience I’ve had,” Moore said. “We would take random roads and drive three hours deep into the country. We were all over that place and everything was bare-bones, no one in sight. It was an insanely powerful experience.”
After his travels, Moore began to write songs like “Plead the Fifth,” “Bittersweet Company” and “Last Shot.”
He realized there was a thread running through these songs, a thread that could lead to a complete album, and sent the songs to his record company.
The folks at the label agreed and encouraged Moore to keep writing.
Eventually, with a collection of tunes in hand, Moore entered the studio, where he acted as lead producer after having co-produced his first two records.
To achieve the analog sound he was after, Moore opened lots of doors in the studio and welcomed the sounds that bled into the recording.
“There’s a thick lushness to it,” he said. “There’s a very organic vibe to it.”
Case in point, album closer “Guitar Man.”
Moore said the song, about the life of a traveling musician, almost didn’t make the record because he and his team were having trouble making it sound like Moore heard it in his head.
One day, he pulled nearly everyone out of the studio, save for musicians Dave Cohen and Tom Bukovac.
Cohen began to play the organ, and Moore encouraged Bukovac to play the guitar on top of it.
Without letting Cohen and Bukovac know, Moore told the sound engineer to hit record.
“We just hit record and that’s all one take with me singing with them,” Moore said of the final version of the song.
Moore can look back fondly on those trials and tribulations because by working through them, he was able to create the album exactly as he’d envisioned, something he can’t quite say for 2012’s “Up All Night” and 2015’s “Wild Ones.”
“I love the other two, but there was these moments of looking back and being like ‘Oh, I wish I’d changed the musical element here’ or ‘I wish it would have sounded a little more like this’ or ‘I wish the mix would have been maybe a little more like this,’ ” he said. “This is the record that, even now looking back on, I’m super happy with everything about it.”
Moore’s “After the Sunburn” tour brings him to the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on Thursday.
Still in the middle of the “Slowheart” album cycle, Moore is already gearing up for an acoustic record and two full-band projects.
“Room to Spare: The Acoustic Sessions” will be released on Nov. 16. The EP features an acoustic version of “Plead the Fifth,” from “Slowheart,” as well as six never-before-released songs, songs Moore said “slipped by the wayside” before he reconnected with them.
He’s been playing acoustic shows for fans who purchase VIP packages during his headlining shows for years and felt it was about time he gave fans what they had been asking for.
He’ll showcase the EP on a four-date acoustic tour in late November and early December.
He calls “Room to Spare” and the upcoming full-band projects both “fulfilling and exhausting.”
But seeing the joy fans experience when they hear these projects, and having the chance to perform these songs on stage keeps Moore working.
“The acoustic project, I’m pulling out some old ones that I wrote 10 years ago… one of the songs is 12 years old,” he said. “Seeing these songs get a little life is going to be an exciting thing.”
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