Posts Tagged ‘James Vincent McMorrow’

Round Up

Time to round up a few more of the releases that have tickled our ears from the inbox and round the web.

Ali Koehler has hitherto been best known as the drummer of the pop group Best Coast and the noisy girl punk trio Vivian Girls. After her departure from Best Coast, Koehler decided to step up from behind the kit to front a band of her own, embracing her melodic punk-spirited songwriting impulses with Upset. The new three-piece will release its hooky debut record of pop-punk, She’s Gone, this autumn. Take a listen to Oxfords and Wingtips from it.


We posted Wake Up Lucid’s track I Want at the end of September and this is the ominous, jagged b-side, Let It Roll.


Rural Ghosts recently released their debut long player City Of Elms. It is a fine record of folk tinged indie rock distinguished by driving rhythms and haunting lyrical content. Take a listen to a couple of tracks, Limbo and Eyes.


Ten Ton Man’s Drinking Song comes from their self -titled debut album of minimal, gritty, Americana with a lyrically dark slant. The sinister undertones of this track perfectly encompass the feelings of someone who is down on their luck. With his signature baritone voice, frontman Paul Livornese sings the gloomy lyrics, “Sing along to the drinking song//When the booze is gone //You’ll be all alone.”  Something many of us can relate to at one time or another…


Black Hearted Brother is the new band formed by Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3), Nick Holton (Coley Park, Holton’s Opulent Oog) and Mark Van Hoen (Locust, Seefeel). Listen to the excellent  (I Don’t Mean To) Wonder from the trio’s debut album Stars Are Our Home which is officially released tomorrow (order here).


Foul Play is the excellent first track from all girl garage-pop trio Sharkmuffin’s second EP 1097 which is released next Wednesday.


Buzzard Lope recently released their debut single East By East on their own label Lost Toys Records. The single blends frontman Roger Illingworth’s husky vocal – reminiscent of Mark Lanegan – with Adam Jarvis’ brooding double bass.


Lem and The White Fire are a distinctive soul/pop/folk 11-piece collective who have released their catchy debut single Telephone – it features a memorable sing-a-long chorus and a rousing riff from the brass section of the collective.


Haunting vocals stand at the forefront of La Guerre’s new EP, Violent, which is the solo project of Katlyn Conroy, a member of the band Cowboy Indian Bear. Listen to the lovely, sultry Sorrow Song.


Huckleberry Binge are a whirl of fuzzed-out folk rock and murky pop anthems. They released their Tornado EP back at the end of the summer, but Fur Trapper from it is too good not to post – better late than never.


We have another track from Lola Colt, Jackson is their second single (out 2nd December) and is another top notch track of fuzzy, blistered guitars and twangy psychedelia.


Singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow built up a huge following after the release of his debut album Early In The Morning, and Cavalier is the evocative first single from January’s follow up album Post Tropical.


The Witch Hunt return with the release of their debut EP Little Book of Hate on Dead Young Records, a collection of five songs showcasing a promising range and depth, with dark, twisted melodies and haunting vocals. The follow up to their second single Crawl, immerse yourself in the visceral and threatening Army Man from the EP.


Lastly (for now) we have the new single from Melbourne indie-folk quartet Sleepy Dreamers. Titled Bike Song it features a catchy hook, four part vocal harmonies and a good dose of handclaps – pretty sure to evoke some foot-stomping action.


Some Tasty Covers. Here are a few tasty covers that are worth more than a moment or two of your time. We have MM faves Deer Tick taking on ZZ Top’s Cheap Sunglasses, Asobi Seksu’s hazy version of the Walkmen’s Little House of Savages and lastly rising folk troubadour James Vincent McMorrow who has covered Chris Isaak’s classic Wicked Game.

Download Deer Tick – Cheap Sunglasses mp3 (ZZ Top Cover, live at the Laundromat)

Download Asobi Sesksu – Little House Of Savages mp3 (Walkmen Cover)

Download James Vincent McMorrow – Wicked Game mp3 (Chris Isaak Cover)

In one of those strange quirks of coincidence, James Vincent McMorrow has been cropping up around here a few times recently. Firstly our mate (and pansy angler) Simon B went with his better half Tracey to his first gig since Goldsmiths in the 60s or something. Of course it was on her recommendation, and so he was dragged kicking and screaming in to the 21st century to see none other than James Vincent McMorrow perform a sublime set at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford.

No sooner has he told us this then Barry-Sean puffs his way into the office to announce he has to get this beautiful new song he’s just heard on the radio by, of course, none other than James Vincent McMorrow.

The song was Sparrow And The Wolf and so when we received a missive into the MM inbox yesterday containing the new video and a radio edit for the exact same song we figured the Gods were trying to tell us something.

Here it is. And beautiful it is too.


See our other post on JVM here. Buy the gorgeous and haunting album Early In The Morning from Amazon here.

Download James Vincent McMorrow – Sparrow And The Wolf (Radio Edit) mp3

Download James Vincent McMorrow – This Old Dark Machine mp3 (from Early In The Morning)

Download James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had A Boat mp3 (from Early In The Morning)

Here is our regular round up of the best of January’s posts plus a couple of new tracks for your listening pleasure – all beautifully designed to make one perfect mixtape.

Download Wooden Wand – The DNR Waltz mp3

More classic down-tempo folk from greatly underrated MM fave.

Download Phosphorescent – Are You Ready For The Country? mp3

Riff-heavy, mean-assed cover which brilliantly captures the double-edged viciousness of Neil Young’s original.

Download Akron/Family – So It Goes mp3

A soulful psych-bounce over a groove both surly and sexy.

Download Secret Colours – Follow The Drone mp3

Texas-style psychedelia with a modern veneer.

Download The Veils – Bloom mp3

Nicely taut and hypnotic affair with an almost Wilco-esque bassline – it’s melodic, unpredictable and very, very good!

Download Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever mp3

Excellent appetiser from forthcoming album Smoke Ring For My Halo.

Download Pete & The Pirates – Winter 1 mp3 Removed by a modern day King Canute who doesn’t realise it has been given away free all over the internet. You cannot offer it free in one place and not expect it to turn up in another and what’s the difference? Get it loads of other places via the Hype Machine.

Welcome return from indie stalwarts offering a new direction and an echo of Donna Summer crossed with Can

Download Obits – You Gotta Lose mp3

More wonderfully sleazy, rockabilly rumble.

Download The Builders & The Butchers – Lullaby mp3

Another perfect example of their debauched country/folk stompathons.

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Too Much Of A Good Thing mp3

A hymn to channel the raw feelings and chronicle the lives of the fucked-up romantics of Hurray For The Riff Raff’s home by the Mississippi.

Download Howling Owls featuring Maximino – A Wordsmith’s Reverie mp3

An everyday tale of resignation and failed expectations Howling Owls style, this time it has an almost a waltz-time feel.

Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide – So It Goes mp3

Promising mix of catchy folk and indie pop that has that little extra quality that means it insistently burrows its way in past all the flotsam and jetsam in your brain and lodges itself firmly in your head.

Download The Caulfield Sisters – Caterwauling mp3

Gorgeous pop disguised in a layer of sonic distortion.

Download The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires mp3

Typically literate horror inflected cowboy tale.

Download The Mind Spiders – Neurotic Gold mp3

Wonderfully uncluttered, joyous form of proto garage-rock that is simple, unaffected and damn catchy.

Download Jeff The Brotherhood – Bummer mp3

Calls to mind the Ramones jamming with the Sonics and having a blast.

Download Duke Garwood – Summer Gold mp3

Sparse, skeletal unsettling folk-blues.

Download The Skull Defekts – Fragrant Nimbus mp3

It’s minimal and powerful, it’s a bit raga, a bit drone, has some tribal chants, lots of repetition, it’s hypnotic, a bit trancey, some pyschedelia and seriously rhythmic!

Download Earth Girl Helen Brown – Hit After Hit mp3

Fictitious, nomadic, psychedelic soul singer, featuring a unique mix of country, girl group, R&B, and ghoulishness.

Download Alexander – Truth mp3

Mellow, sunshine feel good pop that is effortlessly easy on the ear.

Download James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had A Boat mp3

Five-part harmony echoing over the sounds of an organ and folk guitar in the eerie opener to debut album.

Download Duquette Johnston – Broke & Lonely Ones mp3

A fragile, acoustic ballad – Johnston tells stories of those on their way down and those who’ll never bounce back up, bar-room tales of what might have been and what should have been, and songs of hope and redemption.

In what has been the best month of music releases for a long time, we finish with the newly fresh and minted first advance track from indie folk heavyweights Fleet Foxes with the title track from forthcoming new album Helplessness Blues. By contrast we also have fresh-faced newcomers Veelee with their quirky, folkish take on art-rock, all angular repetition, drone pop and lovely harmonies that makes their EP The Future Sight a delight. And lastly we have the new EP from Derby, titled Madeline — an edgier collection of smoky, riff-heavy basement rock that still keeps some roots in their trademark infectious indie-pop as evidenced in the undeniably catchy toe-tapper Don’t Believe In You.

Download Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues mp3 (from Helplessness Blues)

Download Veelee – When You Gonna Come Home? mp3 (from The Future Sight EP)

Download Derby – Don’t Believe In You mp3 (from Madeline EP)

James Vincent McMorrow’s debut record, Early In The Morning, is an album he originally self recorded, played and released in Ireland last year, and which got its US release just a few days ago. For those unfamiliar with McMorrow, the record is laced with haunting melodies, mythical storytelling, and musical structures that bring a singular and unique vision to the traditional folk style that emerged in the states in the 1960s.

The story really begins in January of 2009 when he moved to an isolated house by the Irish Sea, about an hour outside of Dublin, with the intention to record a demo. Within a month James found he loved the sound he was getting, and decided to create an album. “It took six months. I recorded and played everything myself, using one microphone and a computer, and all the equipment and instruments I’d used to make my first demos. In June 2009 I played it for people for the first time and everyone seemed to really get it.”

Early In The Morning begins with a five-part harmony echoing over the sounds of an organ and folk guitar in the eerie opener, If I Had A Boat. Towards the latter half of the record a darker tone emerges, creating ominous figures, and a wholly tangible sense of tension and foreboding. Drawing on his childhood love of Roald Dahl, as well as his fascination with American novelists such as John Steinbeck and F Scott Fitzgerald, James draws life from their writings because “they all examine the darker less spoken about aspects of life, solitude, disillusionment. I’m not one for defining a lyric, or what it definitively means, but songs like Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree, From The Woods, and Down The Burning Ropes are certainly me exorcising the underside of my personality. The characters I create in those songs, the ones existing in the shadows, they are all elements of me for sure.”

You can buy via iTunes in the US (but not the UK yet) from here or order the album, and some other merchandise, by clicking here.

Download James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had A Boat mp3 (from Early In The Morning)