These days, young Irish indie musicians gorged with talent seem to be popping up from every corner. Hozier, Villagers and now James Vincent McMorrow with his debut album Early in the Morning. The industry seems to be falling for his pitch-perfect voice and powerful vocal range, as well as his great performing abilities.
Mr McMorrow seems to have started an addiction to falsettos at some point in his life and still hasn’t had to chance to get to rehab. Falsettos, falsettos and more falsettos: that’s what hits me the most in his songs. He has an incredible diversity in his voice, and even though he sometimes overuses these high pitched sounds, it proves his acute aptitude to mould his voice into many different tones.
My personal favorite on this album, If I Had A Boat, throws you into the heart of the song with once again his characteristic harmonies – which are pretty seemless, nice job, kiddo – and a catchy folk resonance with a light tambourine rythm in the background. I can’t quite understand what he’s on about, but the lyrics seem vaguely familiar due to the recuring theme of water. The chorus comes up and seems to me like a slap in the face quickly followed by a soothing stroke with it’s background ooh’s: that’s what James Vincent McMorrow does to you.
I’ve always been a great lover of The Kooks. Their fresh view on everything, a young twist on Brit-Pop, all their tunes so catchy and lyrics telling the tales of boyhood.
Their new album Listen (new-ish, I guess it took me some time to come to terms with my favorite band making an album I strongly dislike) is utterly dissappointing.
It’s just a load of electro-pop-indie vomit which kind of makes me nauseous, and I doubt half the sounds on it are produced by actual instruments. Gahhhh, where has good music gone? And more importantly, why are good musicians making bad music?
Seriously. Take the third track Westside. Basically, there’s one teeny weeny guitar riff at the beginning, which is looped for what seems like eternity before this painful keyboardy sound is thrown onto a totally flat beat. The lyrics are so unlike The Kooks, especially as they’re repeated like a gazillion times and that’s what fills up the song to be honest. To me it just sounds like one of those annoying songs you skip on the radio in the summer when you’re looking for a song to spice up your road trips.
Okay, on a more positive note, there is one song I really love: See Me Now. Still, it doesn’t really sound Kookey but I am addicted to the simpleness of it. Just Luke singing, his pure voice bursting out onto quite a repetitive piano progression. Then comes in some bass, drums and backing vocals. Oh and there’s a nice bit of strings around the end of it that makes it feel extra 80’s.
Anyway, I sincerely hope this is only a test or something, because I can’t have all this talent beeing wasted on some commercial piece of crap.