2ND SEPTEMBER / BELIEVE RECORDINGS / LOVE IT
James Vincent McMorrow is an Irish singer-songwriter and this is his new album We Move. James has kind of slipped under my radar over the years, but a string of strong releases and a lot of my other half quickly throwing her phone in my face has brought him right to the forefront of my mind in recent weeks. The guy does a superb cover of Chris Issack’s ‘Wicked Game’ that rivals mine and with the inclusion of electronics alongside his soft and sweet falsetto, this record could certainly put him in the forefront of everybody’s minds.
‘Rising Water’ looks set to do that right away as We Move kicks off with pulsating basslines and gospel harmonies, immediately introducing the eardrums to James Vincent McMorrow’s electronic side. This upbeat number blooms into a well layered affair with James’ vocals meandering in amongst the mechanical instrumental, leaving little drops of natural reverberation behind. It’s like if Iron Man wanted to create a Fleet Foxes of his own – this robotic sound is humanised by James’ vocals and piano keys, combining nicely to form a sound that kicks off this record wonderfully.
The two genres begin to blend together a little more easily as the record progresses. ‘Last Story’ sees synthesisers pair up with pianos and guitars to deliver an instrumental that’s subtle in volume but rife with melodies as James’ croons his heart out. ‘One Thousand Times’ allows the synths to sit nicely besides a strong drum beat to deliver one of the softest tunes on We Move, and ‘Evil’ succeeds at delivering nearly five minutes of pure anthemic bliss.
The record does have its heavier moments too. ‘Get Low’ features a deep-rooted bass note that provides a shadowy canvas for guitars to deliver a distorted, funky rhythm which collides against James’ vocals and following melody. ‘Killer Whales’ also mashes harmony and percussion together, and there’s a hint of ‘Flange’ all over the sounds of ‘Seek Another’ too. These moments wouldn’t be considered heavy in a general sense of the word, but with the context of this record they do provide some much needed levels of volume to keep things flowing smoothly with touches of variation along the way.
We Move is a beautiful record from James Vincent McMorrow. This third effort showcases a sound that has been crafted and tweaked over the years, revealing something that blends two genres together to form a sound that’s blissfully delicate throughout. It would’ve been nice to hear more of the gospel elements throughout, but overall this is a record perfect for the lazy Sunday days. Great stuff.