Having first heard of James Vincent McMorrow from his heralded "We Don't Eat" track, from his Early In The Morning debut album, I found a nice surprise waiting for me in my inbox. This surprise came in the form of the Irish singer's newest single titled "Cavalier". Now I sheepishly admit that McMorrow had fallen off my radar and I didn't quite remember who he was, but after revisiting his Soundcloud page to listen to "Cavalier", all the good feelings and vibes I got from "We Don't Eat' came rushing back. While Early In The Morning is decidedly more folksy in its sound, McMorrow seems to be embracing a new approach in his style for this latest release.
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As a slow and sensual atmosphere descends on us like a carefully placed veil over our heads, McMorrow masterfully taps into our emotions with deliberate, yet delicate, lines. The strength of "Cavalier" lies within its ability to do so much with minimal effort. As soft keyboard notes lull us into a state of vulnerability, McMorrow cryptically reminisces about his first love with a hint of somberness. All this leads you to wonder what the history between them is. Did they endure a painful break-up? Were they cruelly pulled apart due to an unfortunate accident? Or did she, or he, leave the other high and dry without an explanation?
Whatever the case, McMorrow begins to release this pent up emotion 2 minutes in with his wondrously haunting falsetto, before unleashing drums, trumpets, and clashing cymbals at the 2:30 mark. I can't help but to imagine him throwing objects that are connected to his first love in a mini-fit of rage before sinking to his knees resigning himself to the fact that they are gone, as this swell of instruments subsides. So while "Cavalier" seems to be a departure from the folk sound displayed in Early In The Morning, McMorrow shows us that we can still expect great things from him even as he experiments with his sound. Only time will tell if Post Tropical, McMorrow's sophomore album coming to the US in January 2014 via Vagrant Records, follows this new blueprint of "Cavalier".
James Vincent McMorrow
- Vagrant Records
- January 14, 2014