Grapefruit Season James Vincent McMorrow
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- 3Planes in the Sky03:59
- 4Tru Love03:17
- 6Poison to You03:53
- 7We Don't Kiss Under Umbrellas Like We Used To03:58
- 8A House and a River03:38
- 9Hollywood & Vine05:20
- 10Cliché 03:28
- 12I Should Go (with Kenny Beats)02:24
- 14Part of Me03:47
Info zu Grapefruit Season
Grapefruit Season is the long awaited 5th studio album from James Vincent McMorrow. Produced by James alongside fellow genre disruptors Paul Epworth, Kenny Beats, Lil Silva and Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift), the album was recorded in London, Los Angeles and Dublin largely before the pandemic struck. It embraces the fact that life is chaos, and the idea of growing up but feeling none the wiser.
In an already-unpredictable career, Grapefruit Season sees James Vincent McMorrow push himself (and his sound) in all new ways. Produced by James alongside fellow genre-disruptors, Paul Epworth, Kenny Beats, Lil Silva and Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift), McMorrow’s fifth album was recorded between London, Los Angeles and Dublin largely before the pandemic struck. It embraces the fact that life is chaos, and the idea of growing up but feeling none the wiser. Each song is held together by McMorrow’s instantly-identifiable voice, an untethered musical imagination, and (from dancehall to soul, country to R&B) purposefully little else in its pursuit of fear-free pop music. Even the title, Grapefruit Season, seems to signpost doing simply what you want, rather than what you are supposed to do (it was inspired by James watching his mum eat grapefruit as a kid, and the idea that what’s good for you may not actually be pleasurable). Throughout the emotional highs and lows of ‘Grapefruit Season’, you are reminded of the risks James Vincent McMorrow has taken since the singer-songwriter roots of debut album, Early In The Morning, (which turned ten in 2020); but also that those same instincts – to follow inspiration wherever it leads, and to be as brutally honest possible – remain a refreshing constant.
“Every time a new song or album comes out, I get a mail asking me to put together some thoughts on the songs and how they came together, where they came from, what they mean. The truth is I just live my life, the songs come when they come, and they come from wherever they come from. Then once they’re done I start worrying about if they’re good enough, if I mean enough to make them good enough.
"This last year has been a massive lesson in patience for all of us. But I don’t feel any more patient than I did before, in fact the opposite, I feel impatient. I had this album finished last year and then the world stopped and I had to stop. I remember sitting in my car crying after I heard that we’d be parking the work until 2021, and then I wrote ‘Waiting.’ It’s a song about feeling sorry for myself, and then going home and talking to the one person in my life who understands just how awkward a fit all of this is for me, and who loves me for the actual human I am and not what I curate in order to feel like the person I need to be."
I don’t know if any of this makes any sense – but Grapefruit Season is about embracing the idea nothing makes sense. None of it is supposed to be linear. Music isn’t some holy grail to a greater meaning, it’s supposed to remove you from where you are for a moment and take you somewhere else. And I’m not saying that isn’t a transcendent thing, because when it’s done well it truly is. And I believe/hope I have done it well with this album. I’m just saying that at the end of the day, music is a simple idea unadorned idea that doesn’t need bells and whistles to make it work…. unless you’re making an album where the only instruments are bells and whistles, then you definitely need them to make it work.”
“McMorrow has a soul voice to cherish” – Guardian
“The ever-shifting Irish singer-songwriter…it works” – Sunday Times, Hottest Tracks
“Pushing his music onto a different realm, whilst maintaining that recognizable emotional pull” – CLASH
James Vincent McMorrow
James Vincent McMorrow
Written in constant transition – and recorded between Toronto, Dublin and London – ‘We Move’ is James Vincent McMorrow’s most expansive, generous and ambitious record to date. There is, on the other hand, something more stripped-back – vulnerable, even – surfacing for the first time: far from the dense, protective imagery at the heart of ‘Post Tropical’, ‘We Move’ is ultimately a record open in its portrait of anxiety and social unease. For McMorrow, it’s about celebrating mental fragility – and how we move forward in life – rather than “people listening to my songs and believing that I’m out in the forest all day long, thinking about trees. Because I’m actually at home, trying to convince myself to go out and get milk.”
The first steps to ‘We Move’ took place in 2014, when James – having been asked to write for different artists’ projects – started sketching out ideas for others on tour (and subsequently stopped over-analysing his own work). Intent on doing the opposite of everything he’d done thus far, McMorrow then came off the road, but kept exploring: first through Barcelona, then Canada, and stopping in Los Angeles for six particularly fish-out-of-water months, where the songs for the album crystallised. He returned to Dublin determined not to just produce another album himself, but to work with people who could articulate the unique world he heard in his head (“I grew up wanting to write songs like Neil Young but produce them like The Neptunes”). And so James reached out to a few key co-producers he’d met whilst travelling, who formed the backbone of ‘We Move’: namely, Nineteen85 (Drake, DVSN), Two Inch Punch (Sam Smith, Years & Years), and Frank Dukes (Kanye West, Rihanna). Mixing took place largely in Miami with one of McMorrow’s all-time heroes, Jimmy Douglass - known for his work from Donny Hathaway through to Timbaland – who finessed the record’s warm, vintage yet forward-thinking feel.
The result is an album about movement – geographically, mentally, emotionally – which remains focused on finding your place in that future. First track ‘Rising Water’ is starkly-produced and skyscraper-sized in its sense of catharsis (“I never once was sad for what I’ve done”): ‘Evil’, meanwhile, questions whether you might in fact be a bad person, because you don’t see life the way other people do (its tone is celebratory rather than ominous, however). Heavier still is ‘I Lie Awake Every Night’, which sees James address for the first time the eating disorder he has battled since he was a child (“it’s about lying in hospital when I was a kid, thinking I shouldn’t be there, and trying to reconcile those two things”). ‘We Move’ reacts against McMorrow’s instincts to obscure ideas such as this, and ultimately embraces a shared, collective awkwardness, and the idea that maybe we’re all putting on a brave face in some way.
Beginning with Rising Water, ‘We Move’ continues a remarkable journey for the Dublin-born singer and songwriter, whose early work offered little clue as to the sounds and situations that would follow. It’s a remarkably assured collection, informed by this idea that you might not have to listen to others when they tell you how they think life is supposed to go; and that as you grow up, you lose things along the way. Rather, ‘We Move’ suggests it’s possible to keep what you want to keep, and lose what you want to lose.
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