Interview: James Vincent McMorrow
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Six years on from the release of his debut record, the platinum-selling Early In The Morning, James Vincent McMorrow is back with his third album, We Move. Written in constant transition, and recorded as he travelled between Toronto, Dublin and London, this is McMorrow's most candid, stripped-back offering to date. “The travel was in itself an integral part of the album,” McMorrow explained. “The physical act of moving from place to place, of being removed from places and things I felt comfortable with. I don’t ever intentionally seek out left of center album making processes, but looking at it now I realise that I thrive when I put myself in these less than comfortable positions.” We Move marks a stark change in how McMorrow worked on a record, as well as a stark change in his musical sound. “Going into this album I knew I had a way of working that… worked. But at the same time I think it was unsustainable, and ultimately wouldn’t have allowed me to get to the level I wanted to as a musician,” he explained. So for his third release he worked with a host of stellar producers that he’d met whilst travelling. Big names like Nineteen85 (Drake, DVSN), Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith, Years & Years), and Frank Dukes (Kanye West, Rihanna) all contributed. The whispering vocals and whimsical folk influences that earned McMorrow a legion of devoted fans have been developed into something else. We Move is more richly textured, and comes laden with soul, electronica and R&B influences. “Bringing in outside voices to the album created that foundation whereby I could focus on the songs and the arrangements, the key things that were motivating me, and trust that these other people would be able to bring those other elements. I still came with these vast arrangements, so it was about trusting those 3 guys with the ideas, if they chose to dismantle them, erase ideas, change things, then I had to believe in their vision as much as I believed in mine.” It was through one of these producers, Nineteen85 that McMorrow was featured on the latest Drake record, Views - a huge step in his musical career. “He [Nineteen85] mailed me one day to say he’d put some vocals of mine in a Drake record he was working on and that they were going to stay in. I didn’t hear the song until the rest of the world did, that’s how they roll, they’re very low key and keep to themselves, incredibly professional. So that really had nothing to do with me, I’m just a grateful passenger on their enormous ship!”
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