4 Songs, 15 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After listening to his feathery folk songs and breezy voice, it’s difficult to believe James Vincent McMorrow began his musical life as a drummer who loved harder-rocking bands like At the Drive-In, Refused, and Glassjaw. As with his lauded 2011 debut album (Early in the Morning), McMorrow’s 2012 EP We Don’t Eat will likely garner comparisons to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. But listen closely to the opening title track, and you’ll hear a surfacing darkness that has more in common with Antony Hegarty from Antony & The Johnsons, especially when McMorrow sings cryptic lyrics like “We don’t eat until your father’s at the table/We don’t drink until the devil’s turned to dust”. With his haunting inflections and a grand piano's cold, spare notes, the cover of Steve Winwood’s 1986 No. 1 hit “Higher Love” treads close to what the late Jeff Buckley did with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Similarly, a live version of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” becomes equal parts serenade and dirge, with McMorrow crooning his androgynous falsetto over bare acoustic fingerpicking.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After listening to his feathery folk songs and breezy voice, it’s difficult to believe James Vincent McMorrow began his musical life as a drummer who loved harder-rocking bands like At the Drive-In, Refused, and Glassjaw. As with his lauded 2011 debut album (Early in the Morning), McMorrow’s 2012 EP We Don’t Eat will likely garner comparisons to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. But listen closely to the opening title track, and you’ll hear a surfacing darkness that has more in common with Antony Hegarty from Antony & The Johnsons, especially when McMorrow sings cryptic lyrics like “We don’t eat until your father’s at the table/We don’t drink until the devil’s turned to dust”. With his haunting inflections and a grand piano's cold, spare notes, the cover of Steve Winwood’s 1986 No. 1 hit “Higher Love” treads close to what the late Jeff Buckley did with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Similarly, a live version of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” becomes equal parts serenade and dirge, with McMorrow crooning his androgynous falsetto over bare acoustic fingerpicking.

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