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Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby are set to begin their co-headlining Fall Mixer Tour this week in support of their respective albums The Loves of Your Life and Sundowner. In the days approaching the upcoming shows, the duo shared a new collaborative song called “Virginia Beach.”

Leithauser said of the new song:

I wanted to do a modern take on a dark country song which would transform into more of a dark dance groove. 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 added:

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” below.


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Otis is the late morning host on WFPK.