- 17 Sep 21
All killer, no filler from the Malahide man.
James Vincent McMorrow told me only three months ago that he’s never read a single review of his previous four albums. I wonder will it be any different for Album No.5, released from his new home at Columbia Records? Maybe not, but I can still praise him when it’s due.
Since his explosion onto the scene in 2010 with debut album Early In The Morning, the now 39-year-old has learned some vital lessons about himself and his art form. One, that taking a step back, and discovering other aspects of his identity, is vital to his creativity; and two, that brevity allows his exceptional songwriting and production strengths to shine.
Produced by McMorrow alongside Paul Epworth, Kenny Beats, Lil Silva and Chairlift’s Patrick Wimberly, Grapefruit Season was recorded variously between London, Los Angeles and Dublin, for the most part before the pandemic struck. As if embracing the chaos of life, the Malahide man’s creativity feels almost completely without bounds on this 14-track effort. Musically, it incorporates everything from dancehall, soul and country to folk, R&B, pop and more. It’s insanely eclectic.
In the past, the Dubliner’s albums have been filled to the brim with bravura flourishes, but here he has beautifully showcased his newfound sense of peace with imperfection – not to mention his hard-earned confidence as an artist.
Of course, there’s an array of killer singles to which we’ve already been treated, including ‘Headlights’, ‘I Should Go’ (with Kenny Beats), hypnotic banger ‘Gone’, and the summery ‘Paradise’. But there are numerous new treasures waiting to be unearthed too, including ‘Planes In The Sky’, ‘House And A River’, ‘Tru Love’ and ‘Hollywood & Vine’, all of which blend gorgeous falsetto vocals with warm R&B beats.
Boasting direct and accessible lyrics, Grapefruit Season emphasises James Vincent McMorrow’s personal and creative growth. A raw and addictive collection, in which each track is a potential single, it is sure to multiply the singer’s ever-growing legion of fans.
Listen: ‘House And A River’
Grapefruit Season is out now, via Columbia Records.
Pick up a copy of the new Hot Press issue here, starring James Vincent McMorrow.