Editor's Note: This story first appeared in its original format in the new issue of Variance. Click here for the full version.
Photo by Anouck Bertin
Morgan Kibby's success with M83 has helped create the ideal launch of her first solo album, In Cold Blood, which arrives on May 20. The record was a natural next step for Kibby as she narrowed in on her individual identity White Sea.
“It was a story that I really needed to tell and it really flowed out of me,” she confesses from the rooftop deck above Brazos Hall in Austin. “It's a full piece. I look at it like a bunch of movements or chapters from a book. It really has a beginning, a middle and an end. And as far as this collection of songs are concerned, I want it to be listened to as such.”
Although White Sea is currently Kibby's main focus, she is quick to point out she doesn’t intend to close the door on M83.
“I think Anthony [Gonzalez] and I will make music on and off for the rest of our lives,” she says. “We have an extremely beautiful connection when it comes to music and we have a good collaboration.”
Kibby admits it’s not easy starting a new music act, regardless of her past success: “Look, I'm coming out of a hugely successful band with M83. [But] it's starting from the fucking bottom—pardon my French. And it's fine, I’m OK with it, but everything is so temporary. I really don't like today's music culture where it's just more information, more information, more information.
While M83 has previously found a cult following thanks in part to niche media and blogs, the industry has changed, making it a challenge for newcomers. “You'll have a song premiere on a website and it's old news in 24 hours. It doesn't really allow an atmosphere for people to grow with you. That makes me nervous starting out again. I think with M83 we had the luxury of the blog culture; it hadn't quite evolved into what it's become even over the last couple of years.”
Referring to hype as “empty carbs,” Kibby says her goal is develop a true connection with fans that lasts. “Hype is just sugar, it doesn't mean anything. Yeah, it'll get you attention for a second, but there's no lasting value. Ultimately, you make music that you're proud of and the cream rises to the top. Hopefully people like my album enough and that it stands out.”
After years under the reliable M83 umbrella, Kibby is now trusting fans will embrace White Sea and “have a creative dialogue. It's so rewarding connecting with music lovers.”
Listen to Kibby's new track "Future Husbands Past Lives" below.