For the past couple of years, Kip Moore has spent most of his time on the road, building one of country music’s most loyal audiences show by show and plotting what would become his sophomore album, Wild Ones. He was a road warrior, living out of a tour bus with his bandmates and playing more than 200 shows per year. For a songwriter who’d grown up in a quiet pocket of southern Georgia, performing to crowds across the world — crowds that knew every word to his best-selling debut album, Up All Night — felt like a dream come true.
Somewhere along the way, though, the highway became a lonely place. The routine was always the same: pull into town, play a show, pack up and leave. There was no stability, no comfort. Things weren’t much easier at home in Nashville, where Moore —whose first album had sent three songs to the top of the country charts, including “Beer Money” and “Hey Pretty Girl” —found himself receiving plenty of unsolicited advice from people who wanted to keep the hits coming…at any cost.
“Once you start having a little bit of success,” he says, “all of a sudden, there’s a lot of opinions about who you should be, what you should be doing, how it should be marketed. A lot of those opinions are great, but Wild Ones was influenced by me saying, ‘This is just who I am. I’m not gonna do what other people are doing. I’m not chasing a trend. I’m gonna do the kind of music I wanna do, and the kind of music I think my fans wanna hear, and that’s the end of the story.'”
From amphitheater tours with Dierks Bentley to his own headlining tours across America, Moore has spent the last three years learning what, exactly, his fans want to hear. He’s a genuine road warrior, armed with a live show that mixes the bombast and wild desperation of Bruce Springsteen with the rootsy stomp of Merle Haggard. It’s a sound built on space and swagger. A sound that bangs as hard as it twangs. A sound caught somewhere between blue-collar country music and stadium-sized rock & roll. And that’s the sound that Moore’s fans, who’ve already catapulted him to PLATINUM-selling heights, want to hear.
When it came time to create new music for his second album, Wild Ones, Moore didn’t have to look very far for inspiration. He just took a look around, taking stock of the world as it flew by his bus window at highway speed.
“Everything that’s taken place over the last two years —this traveling circus, these shows, the band, the toll that the road can take on you but also the exuberance it can bring —it all inspired the record,” he explains. “It’s a record about what we’ve gone through, and I wanted the music to match the intensity of what we do every night onstage. We never go through the motions, no matter how tired and exhausted we are.”
Moore wrote or co-wrote all of Wild Ones‘ thirteen tracks, often teaming up with songwriters like Dan Couch or Weston Davis. More than a few songs were born on the road, where Moore found himself coming up with new ones during soundchecks, inside backstage dressing rooms, and in his bunk at night. He’d arrange the songs, too, coming up with bass parts, guitar licks and drum patterns in addition to the melodies. Sometimes, he’d write some lyrics, scrap them, then write a completely different set. The emphasis wasn’t on creating the largest catalog of songs in the shortest time possible; it was on funneling the feeling of a Kip Moore concert into a single album, no matter how much time it took.
Driven forward by electric guitars and gang vocals, “Lipstick” is the album’s most heartfelt tribute to the road, with each verse rattling off a list of the favorite cities Moore and his bandmates have played in the past. Other songs, like “That Was Us,” take a look backward, sketching a picture of the archetypal small-town Saturday nights that filled Moore’s teenage years in Georgia. “Magic,” anchored by one of the anthemic, open-armed choruses of Moore’s career, is loud and lovely, and “Comeback Kid” packs its punch the opposite way: by dialing back the volume and delivering quiet praise to the underdog in all of us.
Befitting an album that was largely inspired by —and written on — the road, Moore recorded Wild Ones during quick breaks in his touring schedule. He’d book one or two days of studio time, then hit the road for three months, then return to Nashville and book more sessions. Gradually, the album started to take shape. Brett James, his longtime friend and ally, co-produced the project.
“We created a lot of space in this record,” Moore says proudly. “It’s not a bunch of people playing all over the place. We tracked a lot of the record with just a three-piece band. If you go to most Nashville recording sessions, there’s gonna be six or seven people in the room. But we recorded this one with less people, just to allow the fans to actually listen to what’s going on. It makes everything sound bigger.”
“Big.” Perhaps that’s the best description for Wild Ones, a super-sized record inspired by the grit, grind, and glamour of the live shows that have helped make Moore a country favorite. For Moore, going big was the only option.
“I’ve always felt like the guy whose cards are stacked against him,” he says. “I’ve always been the underdog, but I also say, ‘You can count me out for a minute, but don’t think I’ll stay down for very long.’”
Kip Moore announced that his highly-anticipated fourth studio album WILD WORLD will be available May 29thand is available for physical pre-order now. Kip also gave his notably fierce fan following a taste of what to expect, releasing the upcoming collection’s title track that “anchors the album,” available to listen here.
Co-writing all but one of WILD WORLD’S insightful tracks, Moore navigates the search to find a place and purpose. Throughout the 13-song collection that search is revealed in deeply personal terms, with Moore even self-producing the set, with help from David Garcia, Luke Dick and Blair Daly on respective tracks. The weathered heartland-rock sound Moore has embraced on previous efforts gets its emotional volume pumped up, recorded live with a full band, as substance trumped style and the timeless prevailed over the trendy. Moore admits the result includes a few quirks – but that just gives WILD WORLD the character he values so much. “We wanted it to be more in-your-face,” he says. “More earthy, more analog.”
That straightforward honesty arrives early on the record, starting with the very first song, “Janie Blu,” about a girl who’s always been special, but often stood in her own way – a compassionate, force-of-nature plea to get your head right, before it’s too late. Likewise, the sturdy “Southpaw” stands as a grunge-rocking manifesto for the proudly out of touch, rejecting the notion of “going with the flow” and showcasing just how Moore stands apart in today’s Wild World. Meanwhile, the calming “More Than Enough” presents a better option, blowtorch anthems like the “Fire And Flame” pour gasoline on the quest for greater meaning and “Red White Blue Jean American Dream” flies down an empty highway of optimism.
“I know it’s an unsettling time for a lot of people right now, and so my hope is that this music can bring even just one person some peace,” shared Moore. “I try to make music that reaches people in a pure sense – something that’s light and easy to carry with you, but 1000 pounds of weight at the same time, and I think Wild World is just a depiction of what I see. Life is one crazy, wild ride. But it can be so simple if we look for the right things, and I think that is more important than ever right now.”
Wild World Track List:
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)
Kip is scheduled to hit the road this summer as a special guest on Sam Hunt’s THE SOUTHSIDE SUMMER TOUR. For more information visit kipmoore.net.
Kip Moore is doing his part during these trying times, including opening a tab at a local Nashville restaurant, the Wild Cow, to provide free meals for those who are struggling during this time. Kip also teamed up with Eat Well through his foundation Kip’s Kids Fund to provide more than 3,000 meals to kids in North and West Nashville who aren’t receiving the food and nourishment they need during school closures (see video from Eat Well below).
For those in nashville that are “truly” struggling w finance during this time, I teamed up w the Wild Cow to allow those in NEED a free meal. It’s a running tab till it’s gone. Just tell um it’s on kip’s tab. Cheers
— Kip Moore (@KipMooreMusic) March 21, 2020
In the meantime, Kip is following the CDC guidelines and self-quarantining himself at his getaway place in Kentucky and spending time eating right, rock climbing, learning Spanish and more.
“I’m doing a lot of the same things I’ve always done to stay healthy. I’m trying to eat right, take care of my body,” says Kip. “But I have followed the guidelines of quarantining myself. I’m trying to do everything asked of me. I’m currently in the mountains and I’m rock climbing. I’m completely solo. I’m off the grid. I’ve stocked up on a lot of frozen meats. I’ve got a little lodge up here in Kentucky, so I’m hanging out here, so that’s where I’m spending my time. I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish. I’ve always been able to dabble in it, but I want to get better at it. So, the first thing I did was I downloaded the dual lingo app, and it’s very elementary. Every single morning, I try to spend 45 minutes to an hour with that app, and the other thing that I’ve been trying to do is I have been outside trying to work on my skateboard game.”
Kip is also making his way up the country charts with his latest song, “She’s Mine.”
Kip Moore (what he’s been doing) OC: …skateboard game. :47
“I’m doing a lot of the same things I’ve always done to stay healthy. I’m trying to eat right, take care of my body. But I have followed the guidelines of quarantining myself. I’m trying to do everything asked of me. I’m currently in the mountains and I’m rock climbing. I’m completely solo. I’m off the grid. I’ve stocked up on a lot of frozen meats. I’ve got a little lodge up here in Kentucky, so I’m hanging out here, so that’s where I’m spending my time. I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish. I’ve always been able to dabble in it, but I want to get better at it. So, the first thing I did was I downloaded the dual lingo app, and it’s very elementary. Every single morning, I try to spend 45 minutes to an hour with that app, and the other thing that I’ve been trying to do is I have been outside trying to work on my skateboard game.”
“Hey! This is Billy Currington. Hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, this is T.J., and I’m John, and we’re Brothers Osborne. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Send me some chocolate.”
“Hey y’all! This is Caylee Hammack, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“What’s up y’all? This is Darius Rucker, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Eric Church, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, this is Gary Allan, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! It’s Jordan Davis, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Josh Turner, and I want to wish you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Kacey Musgraves, and I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. This is Keith Urban. Make the day special for your ‘Once in a Lifetime’ love.”
“Hey! What’s happening, everybody? This is Kip Moore. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
“Hey y’all, it’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey everybody. I’m Parker McCollum, wishing all the lovers out there a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Shania Twain. Happy Valentine’s Day.”