I've been a huge James Vincent McMorrow fan since I first heard his tune "If I Had A Boat." I was mesmerized by the Irish native's voice (although his accent is nearly nonexistent) and the subtle guitar strumming that made up the underbelly of his folk ballads. His 2010 debut album, Early In The Morning, is one of the few albums that I can listen to start to finish, and then hit repeat. Since then, he released one more EP, titled We Don't Eat, in 2012.
Fast forward to today, and there's new McMorrow material in my inbox, the first single off his new album Post Tropical, to be released January 2014 by Vagrant Records. "Cavalier" starts off softly, with poetic yet cryptic lyrics, which McMorrow is known for (I remember how cloth hung / flexing with the forest clung / half waist and high raised arms / kicking at the slightest form). One and a half minutes in and a soft beat (is it hand clapping? I can't tell) takes hold, gathering pace at the midway point in the song and turning it into something that sounds vaguely inspired by electronic R&B. Paired with his haunting falsetto (kinda reminds me of Bon Iver, except you can actually make out the words) and the effect is stunning.
I'll say one thing: McMorrow isn't afraid to play around with genres. While Early In The Morning was largely in the folk category, "Cavalier" heralds a new direction for the talented artist. I can't wait to hear what he releases next.
Pre-order the album on iTunes or Amazon.