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James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical

Mollie Carberry

Triangle

Already a firm fan of James Vincent McMorrow, I went into my first listen of his second album Post Tropical 98% certain that I was going to enjoy it. What I did not expect, however, was how quickly I would fall in love with it.

Opening track Cavalier is stunning; capturing you instantly with breath-taking vocals against an understated background, McMorrow’s effortless blend of ambient electronics and stripped back RnB-tinged folk is hypnotising. As the album progresses, it becomes clear that for McMorrow it is all about growth; each track starting out minimalistic and unassuming yet transforming and building towards a beautiful crescendo.

Each track is equally as exquisite and intimate as the last, though each evokes an individual feeling or memory, which is certainly no mean feat. All Points and title track Post Tropical have an inspirational impetus behind them, creating the feeling of running through a field at full speed with the wind in your face. In contrast, tracks Looking Out and Repeating are tinged with loneliness. Despite the fact that each song is stunning in its own right, the album in its entirety is almost like one singular piece of music, telling a story of personal growth and experience.

McMorrow creates something in Post Tropical that is so much more than most albums can achieve; a moment, a stillness held within a concise ten tracks. The combination of piano, woodwind, muted electronics, computerised beats and his effortless falsetto weaving throughout is pure, modest and understated. It paints pictures of beaches and forests and mountains; seabreeze in your hair and grass under your feet. This sense of sweet yet somewhat melancholic nostalgia is similar to that created by the work of Bon Iver and James Blake, though that is not to compare McMorrow to either of these artists. He is an artist in his own right, and Post Tropical’s minimalist beauty and rich texture is unparalleled and unique.