Single Review: James Vincent McMorrow – How to Waste a Moment

By on Friday, 14th August 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Dublin singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has recently unveiled two new tracks in the aftermath of his recent album ‘Post Tropical’, which came out early in 2014. ‘Post Tropical’ was a departure from McMorrow’s early acoustic folk style, delving into synthesised sounds and deconstruction of form to create a more ambient, reflective sort of mood. His two newly shared songs represent the threshold of another change, drawing a line between the ‘Post Tropical’ period and the next phase of McMorrow’s songwriting journey.

The first of the new songs is a stripped back version of a track from ‘Post Tropical’ called ‘Gold’. The original version was more rhythmic and energetic, with a dramatic brass interlude building intensity behind McMorrow’s strained falsetto vocals. The new solo version is slow and comparatively anti-climactic, evolving gradually rather than deliberately developing toward a final conclusion.

McMorrow’s lyrics are abstract and full of vague imagery, which works better with the contrast of the more intentional original arrangement. The solo version is aimless and uncertain but still somehow apropros as McMorrow slurs into its final statement, “time isn’t the only power now”. The song is currently available as an .aif file for free by clicking the download (down arrow) button on the upper right hand corner of the SoundCloud widget below.

McMorrow’s new single release ‘How To Waste A Moment’ has more momentum and is more immediately tangible, beginning straight away with a hypnotic rhythmic figure and a purposeful vocal delivery. McMorrow’s breathy falsetto still obscures his words somewhat, but he has helpfully posted the lyrics on his Soundcloud, along with the track itself and a description of how the song came about. The key statement, in my mind, comes at the end of his description: “I recorded it with tempo because life to me is tempo, it’s rarely slow. This song is the connect from where I was, to where I’m going to be very soon.”

Fans of the hazy, deliberately indistinct musical style of Bon Iver will find much to like in these two tracks, as they most likely did on hearing ‘Post Tropical’. I myself am more interested in McMorrow’s new tempo-driven direction, and I look forward to hearing where this might lead him in the near future.

7/10

James Vincent McMorrow’s new single ‘How to Waste a Moment’ is out now on Believe Recordings. Previous TGTF coverage of James Vincent McMorrow is right back this way.

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