m83’s touring partner breaks out with white sea.

by liza darwin

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple years, chances are you're familiar with (and probably obsessed with) M83, the musical project of French artist Anthony Gonzalez. And if you've been lucky enough to catch M83 live, you also probably spotted Morgan Kibby on vocals. The California singer has been an official member of the band, lending her amazingly pristine voice on tour and on the albums to tracks like "Midnight City." But turns out, that's not all she's capable of- Kibby's breaking out on her own with her solo act, White Sea. The double threat took a break from surfing to fill us in on her musical beginnings, M83, and the magic of Terrence Malick.

When did you first start singing? I was always a theater nerd as a kid. I played classical piano and took up the cello when I was a teen, and when I was 17 I started writing songs. I had decided I didn't want to be a classical performing artist, so I was involved in singing and acting.

How did you first link up with Anthony Gonzalez? About 5 years ago, I was taking film classes in LA and one of my friends there had known that I was also a singer. She asked me to be involved in a soundtrack that she was working on, and Anthony also happened to be involved. Afterward it was funny, because one day I got an email and it was from Antony asking if we wanted to work together! I was a huge fan of his, so it was an awesome surprise. Also, it doesn't hurt that I speak French fluently, so we have that in common.

How does White Sea factor into all this? I've always wanted to have my own project. As much as I love playing with M83, I also wanted to write my own material, so it's been the best of both worlds.

What's the story behind the band name? I didn't want to just make a throwaway band name; I wanted it to mean something. One time I looked up what my name "Morgan" means, and turns out it means white sea dweller, so I just went from there.

Given your atmospheric sound, what would be your dream soundtrack to score? Any Terrence Malick film. All of them are so inspiring to me; sometimes I'll even put Days of Heaven on the monitor on silent and just write to that.

What's next for you? I've been touring with M83 for the last few months, and it's the first of probably a year and a half of touring. I'm excited to be home for the holidays, though, because I finally get to record some new music, which I haven't done since last October. It's going to be busy, but I love it [laughing].

Find out more about White Sea here.