James Vincent McMorrow’s We Move is a leap forward
James Vincent McMorrow is a bearded, sensible chap, and resolutely Irish to boot. This is all the information you need to guess that team tearful kittens loves him vewy much. His first album, Early In The Morning, was a pure pearl of folk songwriting, but his second album has washed away this folk label that he’s been stuck with. Post Tropical leans toward pop and electronic, exploring a much more atmospheric side. James isn’t the sort to stop when on such a solid path. His thing is all about never being content with what you know how to do, changing, making your music evolve, never resting on your laurels, moving forward. To prove it, here’s a little musical memory, just for fun:
It’s exactly this sort of evolution that we can hear in this third album entitled We Move. It’s a coherent and varied album that continues to defy genres. There are moments when James shows his love for hip-hop, and tries out some production as well as pure songwriting. The result is something beautiful and original. By the way, he’s been working with R’n’B producers like Nineteen85 (Drake, DSVN), Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith, Years & Years) and Frank Dukes (Kanye West, Rihanna)… not too shabby. These hit-factories have clearly enjoyed spending some time on indie and alternative sounds. Thanks for doing that, James.
We Move carries us into a world where R’n’B pop is filled with new soul and elegance. There’s a delicate touch to everything. James Vincent McMorrow plays his falsetto voice as if it were an instrument, flying about the instrumentals with steady electronic rhythms and heavy percussion. The harmonies are sung by the young James himself, and they knit a base fabric that allows catchy melodies to develop through, such as in “Rising Water” .
He hasn’t left his influences behind, though, nor his vocals-guitar style on “Get Low” which also offers a few rocky solos and some hip hop snares. We’re nodding our heads along with it, even during the quiet, fragile parts, and with added vim when the thug vibe gets going. Which genre is this again? Actually, we don’t give a shit. If you’re into lyrics, you’re not going to be disappointed either. This Irish boy has his pen well sucked, and his poetic storytelling is fully on par with the transformation of his music. A particular “oh oh oh” moment comes in “Seek Another”.
We Move is an album which synthesises all the good things, and we like it more and more with every listen. James Vincent McMorrow shakes up expectations of musical genres and hands us the polished result of a new creative leap for him. His identity comes through, but it’s an identity we’ve never heard before, if you see what we mean. It’s high level. James is coming to Paris to perform We Move on the 18th October at the l’Elysée Montmartre. We’ll be there.