James Vincent McMorrow – Early In The Morning
EMI Music Publishing 2010 (February, 26th)
[tags: folk, folk pop, 2010]
Listen while reading:
Early In The Morning, I’ll Come Calling (from Early In The Morning)
Breaking Hearts (from Early In The Morning)
In November of 2009 we wrote about the upcoming album by Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow and few days ago he contacted me again with the news that his debut record will be released on the 26th of February. It’s called Early In The Morning and it was mixed and mastered by Mike Cave in Liverpool.
And what shall I say? As the two great tacks from the former post promised, the full length is a great success. It’s kind of sleepy in mood and I can feel the often praised bedroom atmosphere. It sounds soft and smooth and is very relaxed (well ok, except for the end of From The Woods!! which takes a Sufjan Stevens like unexpected turn). Folk pop with mostly acoustic guitars, occasional drums and vocals reigns the overall picture but you will find background vocals, banjo and electric piano as well giving the mentioned pop feeling to the tunes. But I can’t say it often enough: If I speak of folk pop, I mean folk with pop flavor and not folk pop ala Tilly And The Wall – just to make things clear.
I can hear some Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes influences (mostly at the beginning of If I Had A Boat) but James Vincent McMorrow plays an own style I would say, and this style is clearly distinct from Fleet Foxes’. It’s more like he tries to combine the intimacy of folk and acoustic guitar with the sing along ability of pop songs without giving a too sorrowful note to the tracks. The result of those efforts doesn’t fail its effect and so Early In The Morning can convince with a little more upbeat tracks like The Sparrow And The Wolf, sad folksy ballads (Early In The Morning, I’ll Come Calling or Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree), sad pop ballads (And If My Heart Should Somehow Stop) and just great combinations of those like the mentioned From The Woods!!
As I said, the album features different styles but can be called folk pop all the way through with cozy bedroom atmosphere. However, to be honest to you, here (This Old Dark Machine) and there (We Don’t Eat) I think the pop appeal is a bit too pronounced and the mentioned tracks are near on the edge of sounding a bit cheesy to me. But one has to admit that they fit in very well and maybe just complete the picture in its extremes (especially We Don’t Eat). But don’t get scared, the tracks are far away from being boring or cheap or rash. They just can’t compete in the same league as the other tracks judging from my point of view.
Early In The Morning made a very good impression on me and I believe that it is a great album every time you’re in the mood to put on a record that makes you feel just good listening to it. The fine acoustic guitar play and James’ adorable voice will conjure a smile to your face while you grab your blanket, close your eyes again and dream away…(visit James’ MySpace and official homepage for further details.)