Earlier this month, Kevin Morby announced his latest album, This Is A Photograph, with the title track. Today, he’s back with a second single, “Rock Bottom,” a rootsy jammer that features bass by album producer Sam Cohen, backing vocals from Cassandra Jenkins, and some laughs courtesy of Alia Shawkat and Tim Heidecker. Heidecker also features in the track’s accompanying music video, as does nunchucker Ariel Kellogg. Here’s Morby on the song and video:

I’d often pass a mural of the late James Lee Lindsey Jr. on Main Street (in Memphis) which eventually lead me down a rabbit hole to revisiting his body of work including watching the 2009 documentary filmed during his last days, Better Than Something. I was taken by how similar his story was to that of many other American icons that were ahead of their time and too-quickly rose from the bottom to the top, inevitably burning out. I read that his stage name, Jay Reatard, was worn as a badge of honor after years of being picked on in grade school – which may or may not be why on the cover of his seminal album Blood Visions he’s covered in blood as a nod to Sissy Spacek’s character in Carrie. Because of this I chose to begin the song by repeating ‘they’re all gonna laugh at you!’ When in the studio I pointed at the last Reatard’s album, Grown Up, Fucked Up as a reference for what I was trying to achieve sonically.

For the video, director Johnny Eastlund and I decided we wanted to make an Ice Cream themed Nunchucking Western so I tagged in one of my instagram nunchuck idols Ariel Kellog to help me battle an evil talent show judge, played by Tim Heidecker, who is taunting his contestants, most notably a little girl in a bumble bee costume. The video also features comedian Caleb Heron, my bandmate Cyrus Gengras, Azniv Korkejian (aka Bedouine), Jess Wolfe (who is 1/2 of Lucius), and more.

Watch and listen below.

This Is A Photograph is out 5/13 via Dead Oceans. Pre-order it here. Morby is also getting in on the Substack game — he’s launching his own today.