Video: James Vincent McMorow Red Dust Music Clip
Post Tropical by James Vincent McMorrow was released in Australia on 3 January 2014, and is due to be released elsewhere on 13 January 2014 (a day prior to his birthday!). James said at his show earlier in the week in Melbourne that he was pleased to be able to release Post Tropical first in Australia, given we usually are forgotten about and see album releases last.
Post Tropical is a world away from his fantastic debut album, Early In The Morning. You can no longer call him a mere folk singer. This album is a different beast exploring his falsetto and the sounds of soul via electronic music fused with acoustic instruments, all performed by James himself for the recording. The instrumentation and emotion of Post Tropical replace the lyrical wizardry found on Early in The Morning.
The opening track of Cavalier is a seductive and soulful tune that peaks into a crescendo when James’ recalls his first love. The song is downright sexy. I’m creating a new section in my CD rack for Melbourne’s Chet Faker and Dublin’s James Vincent McMorrow sexy tunes. It will need to be located close to the bedroom.
Cavalier Music Clip:
The following track The Lakes begins with a layering of many mandolins (50 mandolins!) that create an amazing sound of a waterfall (which apparently was the concept James was going for). It is uncanny. Track three is the stunning electronica inspired Red Dust which is reason enough to buy Post Tropical. The slow build up of the bass in the song focuses your attention and James’ wonderful falsetto on this song is second to none. I already love playing Red Dust at full volume.
Gold is a huge sounding song that envelopes your ears with many instruments and vocals, I can envisage the song played with James and an orchestra one day. All Points is a softly sung but energetic track with rhythmic beats underscoring the entire song.
Gold Audio Clip:
Look Out is mellower vocally again engaging James’ falsetto to create a vulnerable moment that is juxtaposed with the instruments in the background rising and falling in volume. It is a common technique utilised on Post Tropical to create large dynamics. The vocals at one point are soloed to contrast with the earlier part of the song where the vocals are almost meddled up in the music.
Repeating takes a range of elements found on the album and blends them all together. The title track, Post Tropical, is a beautiful song that evokes the sound of going to battle for love. The hand clapping mid-song is unexpected but is used well behind the lovely harmonies.
Glacier has fast become one of my favourite songs on the album, from James’ vocal tone and performance to the song structure. It starts sounding very despondent, and then the energy found on the rest of the album shines through a minute later, and it almost becomes cheery. It is like an evolution within a song.
The final track Outside, Digging begins bleak and ambient. It is itself ‘Post Tropical’ to the rest of the sunny album. I love James’ raw emotion in his singing on the song. This is the raw animal in James you see when he performs live, he truly throws his guts into every song that he sings live.
Overall the album is so compelling it is hard to stop listening to it on repeat. I think the album sounds best up at high volumes on a stereo as that seems to capture the same essence of the pulsating bass sounds that I heard live at his performance at The Corner Hotel a few short days ago.
Post Tropical fits in very well with the modern electronica (think Bon Iver, Chet Faker, Gotye) and the album should appeal to a wider audience than the folk inspired album Early In The Morning. Considering the amount of attention James’ cover of Steve Winwood’s Higher Love garnered I can only foresee his trajectory ascending with the release of Post Tropical.
I also am enjoying the change in musical direction despite my initial hesitations, and I’m looking forward to his next shift in genre in the future. He did start out in a hardcore band learning how to play Refused tracks!
James will be touring Europe in January and February, and the US during March and April (including the Coachella Festival), and has confirmed he will back in Australia in winter for performances rumoured to be Splendour in The Grass. See his website for tour dates.
I implore you to get your tickets now to avoid heartbreak, and you can buy Post Tropical on iTunes and at all good musical establishments.
It’s what the pink flamingoes would want you to do.
- James Vincent McMorrow Official Website
- James Vincent McMorrow YouTube
- James Vincent McMorrow Twitter
Previously on Sampling Station:
- James Vincent McMorrow @ The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
- James Vincent McMorrow: Post Tropical
- James Vincent McMorrow