Though it’s likely not coming until late summer at the earliest, at least we still have all his prior studio albums to tide us over until that day finally comes.
But today, I want to talk about his 2016 Underground EP in particular… because it doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves in terms of his catalog as a whole. I feel like it often gets forgotten about as it was sandwiched between two fantastic studio records in Wild Ones (2015) and Slowheart (2017).
He co-wrote every track on Underground, and it definitely leans into that more southern rock sound we hear heavily on the aforementioned studio records. One of the more unique features of this EP is that he includes a mix of live versions and studio recordings, which I love.
And for some inexplicable reason, I decided to rank all five songs. And if your favorite is in my last spot, it’s not because I don’t love it or think it’s top-tier, because I could honestly put them all in the #1 spot for a different reason. I ranked them more based on how often I find myself going back to them and hitting the repeat button.
I don’t even really know why I did this to myself, but these are the tunes that speak to me… and hopefully, if you’ve never heard some of these songs before, you’ll have some great new stuff to add to your playlist.
Here we go:
1. “My Baby’s Gone”
“My Baby’s Gone” has been a favorite of mine for a while now. I love the unique concept and how he details all of the little things his ex used to do that he never realized meant so much until she left.
Plus, the production is simple and groovy, which makes it an easy standout:
“I fix a cup of coffee, light a cigarette Wish I heard her whisperin’ underneath her breath Baby don’t, but my baby’s gone Go to turn the key but the engine won’t turn Always told me baby When you ever gonna learn, that truck, it’s a piece of junk”
2. “Separate Ways”
Another good old fashioned breakup song, “Separate Ways” finds Kip desperately wanting to call his ex and start over, but instead, he picks “some brown eye’d honey” from the crowd to keep him company for the night until the next show.
3. “All Time Low”
“All Time Low” is interesting because it has some real honky tonk lyrics, and a really rock and roll production… did I just sum up Kip’s entire sound?
Again, it’s a breakup song where he’s thinking about an ex, but this time, he seeks out the comfort of a neon glow and strong drink at his local dive to ease the pain:
“I’m at an all time low, I’m bottomed out and a 12 ounce cold And this shitty dive’s spendin’ all my cash, to hell with her she can kiss my glass In too damn deep and it’s too damn late, no climbin’ out of this poor heartbreak This neon hell is my newfound home, my baby’s gone I’m at an all time low”
I hate this term, but the song really is a whole vibe:
4. “Midnight Slow Dance”
I love “Midnight Slow Dance,” but since the fan-favorite eventually found its way onto Kip’s Wild Ones Deluxe album last year, it didn’t feel right to put it so close to the top on this list.
5. “My Kind”
And lastly, we have “My Kind.”
It actually reminds me a lot of the title track to his aforementioned Wild Ones album, where he details his blue collar upbringing and what makes that unique to him and the people he knows and loves.
What are your favorite’s off this EP and where would you rank all five songs?