Why doesn’t “Everything But You” get the credit it deserves?
Seriously. I would put it in my top five favorite Kip Moore songs of all time. Hell, maybe even top three…
It has every element in the making of a great country song: nostalgia, longing, regret, love and, my personal favorite, sadness.
There’s even a hopeful element to it, too, where Kip comes to the realization that, after many years of running around and traveling the world, he’s finally ready to settle down. The only problem is, the girl he longs for is gone and he finds himself alone.
Behind The Song
The story behind the song is fascinating, and he told American Songwriter that it was inspired by the fact that he’d been so many different places in the world, yet they didn’t quite hold the meaning he thought they would when he had no one to share it with:
“Well, you know, I lived in a little hut in Hawaii for a long time, and that’s why I wrote this song. I did that because I’d be in these amazing places and these valleys camping out.
I learned without people I care about around me, those places aren’t as pretty as you’d think they’d be. That’s why I wrote that song.
I’ve seen a lot. I lived on the east coast for a while and the west coast, then Hawaii. All those images are real.”
And I think that’s something we can all relate to.
As you get older, you realize that maybe all the things you thought you wanted weren’t really all they were cracked up to be.
His Debut Album, Up All Night
It goes hand-in-hand with the essence of his 2012 Up All Night album as a whole, where he tries to describe the youthful energy I don’t think ever really leaves us, no matter how old we get.
Every single track on this record has an element of nostalgia, where Kip looks back on growing up and his life up until the point it was recorded. He attempts to analyze and internalize everything that’s happened to him and how he feels about it.
Of course, the writing was done this way purposefully. Kip often talks about how he’s never felt like he’s followed society’s standards or expectations of when certain milestones for different phases of life should be met, regardless of the pressure that can sometimes feel like a thousand pounds:
“I made a conscious effort on this record to try to capture the youthful spirit that we all have inside of us.
So often people as they get older, they feel like things have to change inside their spirit. We all have to mature and take on different responsibilities.
I tried to really capture with stuff like “Up All Night” that you don’t have to let your soul die or spirit die. You can still keep that youthful way and still live that way.”
There’s just something about this song that stands out to me. He wrote it alongside Trent Summar, and while it was never released as a single or saw much commercial success, it’s been a fan-favorite for a long time.
Not only does he describe a picturesque, tropical landscape that sounds heavenly, he wears his heart on his sleeve when he talks about how he realizes he might’ve messed up when he left everything behind back home without a letter wrote:
“I bet you’re wonderin’ where I’ve been What town I’m calling home for now And just how long I’ll be there before I turn around
Truth is I’ve finally found the place Where I can start to plant some roots It’s about as close to being perfect, it’s got everything but you”
It’s so honest and heartbreaking. When you pair that with the gritty, gravely elements of his voice, it just about sends a shiver down your spine.
Then, there’s the chorus, which you could almost imagine him slipping into an actual love song the way he describes it. Up until the very last line, you’d probably think the girl was right there with him:
There’s a pathway to the ocean, a salty breeze blowing And this old man down the street makes damn good wine It’s got stars that shine like diamonds on the black canvas behind ’em And there’s a sun out here that seems to always shine And I’ve never seen water quite so blue It’s got everything but you”
Maybe I’m a sucker for nostalgic songs full of longing and desire, but this one just does not get old no matter how many times I’ve listened to it.
If you’ve never heard it before, you won’t regret listening to it… and you just might have yourself a new favorite song: