Having reached number 1 and received rave reviews back in his native Ireland, Dublin’s James Vincent McMorrow releases his self-titled debut EP via Believe Digital in the UK and the influential Vagrant Records in the US. Comprising of two album tracks and two unearthed demos, this introductory EP will precede a record due to be released early in 2011.
Fascinated by the hip hop production of acts such as The Neptunes and Timbaland, James spent three years experimenting with sounds and learning how to make music. Only then did he take this newfound knowledge into an isolated house by the Irish Sea, intent on making a record. Comparisons will inevitably be drawn with Bon Iver and his cabin, or the vocal purity of Antony Hegarty, but you are far more likely to find inspiration rooted in the likes of John Steinbeck, F Scott Fitzgerald or Roald Dahl: writers who examined, in McMorrow’s words, “the darker, less spoken about aspects of life, solitude and disillusionment. The characters I create in those songs, the ones existing in the shadows...they’re all elements of me, for sure.”
‘James Vincent McMorrow’, then, is an atmospheric and beautifully crafted debut EP. Throughout, McMorrow marries his Irish upbringing with these traditionally more American, West-Coast sounds. ‘If I Had A Boat’ is an eerie yet oddly emotive introduction, spearheaded by McMorrow’s sweet, soulful voice (and it began life as just a title – the song came later). ‘This Old Dark Machine’, too, feels like the kind of track that could only be written in the wilderness: it is intricately played, and gorgeously sung, with a brooding intensity that seeps into two sparse early recordings (‘From The Woods’, ‘Like The River’).