James Vincent McMorrow On 'World Cafe: Next'

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9 min 49 sec
 
James Vincent McMorrow i i

hide captionJames Vincent McMorrow recently released his debut album, Early in the Morning, on Vagrant Records.

courtesy of the artist
James Vincent McMorrow

James Vincent McMorrow recently released his debut album, Early in the Morning, on Vagrant Records.

courtesy of the artist

Set List

  • "If I Had a Boat"
  • "We Don't Eat"

When James Vincent McMorrow picks up his guitar, he shakes the stage with quiet intensity. The sincerity in his vocals brings shivers down the spine, the arrangements tranquilize the soul; you would never realize from his display that he picked up music relatively late in his life. Though the intrigue was always there, McMorrow decided to play guitar when he was 19. His growing fascination with singing and songwriting was a switch from his previous affinity for metal, but he quickly found a home in the pop folk world. According to McMorrow, he "stayed at home for three years and just learned to play as many instruments as I could and listened to as many singers as I could." Influenced by the work of Sufjan Stevens and Band of Horses, he made an attempt to learn how to play various instruments in order to achieve the rich instrumentation, big choruses and vocal-driven sounds that inspired him.

With great determination, he spent five months in an isolated house along the Irish coast, working on a collection of songs, all self-recorded and arranged on his own. The result is a heartfelt album, Early in the Morning, which upon its release was met with critical acclaim in his native Ireland. With its remarkable density and emotion, it is hard to believe that this is only his first album. But as McMorrow states, "I've been writing songs for maybe three years now — and over those years, you sort of get a good sense of what works and what doesn't." Clearly, Early in the Morning works.

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