Imagine you write a letter to float out into the ocean in a glass bottle. It’s directed to your future self—reminiscing the past experiences that formed your perspective and values, then advising your future self to keep moving, keep searching, and keep learning. You then hop on a boat and sail away to a better place in your life. You may or may not even need that letter again, but it will find you if need be.
With his sophomore album, Post Tropical, Irish Indie-Folk artist James Vincent McMorrow creates this exact journey for his listeners. This entire album, ranked #14 on Billboard Charts for Folk Albums, is guided by McMorrow’s soulful voice, heavy tempos, and gentle words. The Vagrant Records artist structured this album to bring waves of happiness and hope, whilst also reminding the listener of the experiences and the lessons learned. After his fame from covering of the 1986 Steve Windwood hit single “Higher Love”, McMorrow decided to take on an electronic twist to his acoustic, soft sets. He created this album, writing his experiences down and settling sail on a new musical experience.
The album begins with the single “Cavalier”, a reverential piece to past experience of completely devote love. With a rise of tempo and crashing symbols throughout the song, McMorrow brings the light to sorrow. With “Red Dust”, McMorrow truly takes a new turn to electronic beats as a substitute for drums as well as a fixation with vocals for a mix of indie and drum ’n’ bass—creating a place for himself in the growing community of futuristic sound. McMorrow holds onto his acknowledged originality in the music world with “Gold”, a powerful piece led with McMorrow’s soft vocals and drums, but brought to life with an electric organ and horns—bringing the piece to sound like the theme song of a victor against their obstacles.
Post Tropical as a whole has shown James Vincent McMorrow’s ability to build upon his compelling vocals and acoustic work by demonstrating his adeptness to blend new instruments and styles into his music. This album has further solidified the fact that McMorrow is a gem to the Indie music world, and soon he will be known for his sound in all dimensions of music. Don’t miss out on experiencing this artist bloom.
Reviewed by Fatima “Toomi” Aldhahi