Sometimes an album comes along that it is so sweetly unexpected it takes you thoroughly by surprise, and as the days go by and you listen to it again, and yet again, your sense of joy and wonder grows with each listening.
I hate to draw comparisons. I do. Because it seems so unfair. And as with a lot of people starting out James Vincent McMorrow has had his fair share of them, and while I do see why they have been drawn I also have to say that he has achieved something really extraordinary with this his debut album, Early In The Morning.
I never thought I'd say this, but this is an album that is now jostling with Bon Iver at the top of my all-time-favourites. Every time my favourite song ends and my finger hovers over the repeat button, the next one comes on and I think, 'Oh! No, this one's my favourite...' There is not a single song on it that doesn't make my heart soar or skip a beat. It is sweeping, it is cinematic, and somehow at the same time it is understated and subtle.
Take a listen here.
I am hesitant about saying this but in my book...this is perfect. And I am amazed at myself saying this, truly, but as time goes by and I continue to listen to it my wonder only grows. It may be the fact that he is from Dublin and for all the incredible music that has come out of this country there has never been anything like this. I think that may be what makes it so unexpected. I agree with whoever it was that said it's the best thing to come out of Ireland in the last ten years.
And did I mention the fact that he plays every instrument on the album? But it's his voice that does it for me. An incredible voice that at times soars heavenwards like Jeff Buckley's, and then like a swallow it swoops into a husky tenderness that is heart wrenching, with melancholic undertones of someone like Ray Lamontagne.
But for all the comparisons, this man has found his own voice, and his songs are undeniably remarkable.
Truly James Vincent McMorrow has added something beautiful to the world.
This is a rather lovley fan made video of one of my favourite(!) tracks:
~If I Had A Boat~