Release date: January 25th, 2011
Signing him just weeks ago, Vagrant Records knew not to let Dublin native James Vincent McMorrow slip through their fingers. Since the release of his first record, McMorrow has been making waves around the globe.
Describing how music sounds is a lot like describing how salt tastes, so naturally the cliché comparisons surface like seawater to salt and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) to James Vincent McMorrow. Although such comparative associations are often unsuccessful at really getting to the heart of the music, hopefully in this case the comparison comes as a compliment to both artists.
A few of the artists that have influenced McMorrow’s style include Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and The Neptunes. In fact, Donny Hathaway is one of the primary motivations for McMorrow to basically take 3 years off to learn how to sing more convincingly. He then banished himself to a secluded beach house in Ireland and for 6 months created this art now titled Early in the Morning. For those familiar with the story behind Justin Vernon’s recording, this could be another reason why McMorrow is compared to Vernon.
It will come as no surprise to those who hear this album that McMorrow describes himself as a “quiet individual.” Early in the Morning is filled with tracks like “Breaking Hearts” and “From The Woods!!” that will get you hooked and keep you listening, not because of the complexity of the harmonies but because of the simple integrity of the songs. Recorded in a cabin with one mic and no professional production equipment or personnel within hundreds of miles, the album couldn’t have more integrity.
Keep in mind that this album should not be confused as “go to sleep” music; it certainly isn’t for people who see music as a piece of pop art, but rather for those who listen to appreciate simplicity. Although far from complex, the music made by James Vincent McMorrow is hardly elementary. Is this the best work we’ll see by McMorrow? Not likely. Is it an album I have on my roadtrip playlist? Absolutely, and it should be on yours too.
James Vincent McMorrow on tour:
Mar 22 – Ames, IA @ The Maintenance Shop at ISU
Mar 23 – Milwaukee, WI @ Mad Planet
Mar 24 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
Mar 25 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Mar 26 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall