On his next record, Kip Moore is looking for answers.
“It’s going to be a whole other step for me musically, lyrically, personally,” Moore tells Rolling Stone Country. “You are going to feel where I have been in my life, and the questions I have had along the way. What does love look like for me? Where do I fit with God, and what does that look like? There are a lot of questions.”
His new single, “She’s Mine,” serves as an introduction to that journey: with a title that could trick you into thinking it’s just a run-of-the-mill love song, it’s actually a meditation on the unlimited possibilities of life and the sliding doors that lie in front of any romantic partnership. Moore wrote the anthemic heartland rock track a decade ago, exhausted from an extensive radio tour and based around an idea that popped into his head while sitting in a diner in Seattle.
“I was talking about my life in south Georgia,” he says, “and how I never felt I was going to end up there. And how once I was seeing the world, everything was coming at me and everything was unpredictable, and there was no telling whom I would end up with. When I got back home that week, I was writing with Dan Couch and Scott Stepakoff, and I started playing the guitar riff. We tried to record it for the Wild Ones record, but we didn’t feel like we captured the essence of the song. It’s just one of those that has always lingered.”
The fact that “She’s Mine” was written 10 years ago during the “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” era while still sounding fresh is proof of both how much Moore’s sound has evolved and how his genre-blending approach to country-rock has always been a bud in various stages of bloom. Fans can expect other lingering songs — “Reason to Believe,” “A Man’s Gotta Do,” “Tough Enough” — to make it on his albums soon enough. And though Moore is still in the midst of his Room to Spare acoustic tour, he insists that the new album will be much more in the Wild Ones vein than stripped-down strumming. “This project is a whole other animal,” he says about the forthcoming LP, which Moore produced himself and recorded in Nashville.
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No release date has been set, but Moore says the album will heavily reflect how he’s “still as wild as a tumbleweed as I’ve ever been,” he says. “I have no idea where I am going to end up, or what the next chapter of my life is going to look like. Not to scare people, but I don’t even know what music looks like for me in five years. I have all kinds of crazy ideas and mission work I want to do. I’m always chasing passion, and the minute I don’t feel passion I let it go and start a new chapter.”
The singer points to one new song, “Wild World,” that’s about focusing on what’s important: cutting out the static and the mindless scrolling, and opening our eyes to what’s around us. “You have to lift up the veil,” he says. Known for encouraging his fans to put down their phones during his live show, Moore is aware that this aspect of his personality often makes news because it hits so close to home.
“The reason people give me shit or post so much about it is because nobody wants to truly look at themselves as being consumed by it,” he says. “I have to check myself and have to make sure I stay away from it. We are in the most vanity-ridden time and nobody wants to believe they are a part of it. They don’t want to actually look at themselves in the mirror. The phone has its plusses, but it can be a direct poison.”
Moore’s upcoming release won’t be just about looking in the mirror however. It’ll be about facing the unknown, whether that’s the lover we’ve yet to meet on “She’s Mine” or questioning what we’ve been taught to accept as fact or faith.
“Too often we just kind of float by, and nobody is taking time to really think. And that’s reflected on this record,” he says. “There is a lot of weight on this project as a whole.”