Monday, September 12, 2011

James Vincent McMorrow Part II - The Late Edition

I don't know where to start. I haven't done this in a while and my last post was an effing advert for burritos. 'Twas misguided and I removed it and I'm starting over. I also don't know where to start with this guy who poetically snuck his way onto the blog last November and has been receiving plenty of praise since. So I'm way late to the game and I don't care. Because while I typically don't get man crushes, this thickly bearded Irishman kind of nudges these nips northbound if you're highin' what I'm fivin.'

I'd hate to compare him to Bon Iver, but I know you already have, so I'm going to mention it. Doesn't help that he wrote this debut album, Early In The Morning, in "an isolated house by the sea" and shares the Wisconsian's affinity for stripped down melodies, layered vocal harmonies and a heavy dose of falsetto. And of course it also conjures colorful transitions and life changes as all albums like this seem to do.

But he has something especially different that stands out here. That change behind the lyrically dense and sometimes haunting melancholy is immediately felt. The entire album is, from the first touch, full of enrichingly vibrant and life-changing stories that constantly whisper into your ear that you're not as whole as you want to be.

McMorrow, as I hear him, is the lost dog. The one who left his pack to go find the lady fox he saw drifting on the other side of the river. He made an entire journey out of sneaking away from his past and entering a land he knows nothing about. A land where rabbits and squirrels have wings made of dead boats and buildings and trees carry giant framed portraits of rifle-clenching deer. He's the first wolf with opposable thumbs and a paint brush crafted from melted ocean plastic. That fox, to him, is worth every stroke he'll brush.

At least that's what I'm getting, but I'm also on heavy tranqs right now. Maybe you'll hear something different. This is the best complete album I've heard in a long time.

And yes, I used "advert" on purpose.

James Vincent McMorrow // Ghosts
James Vincent McMorrow // This Old Dark Machine

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