James Vincent McMorrow
Post Tropical - VAGRANT
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Christian Koons on March 13, 2014
James Vincent McMorrow’s self-produced sophomore album Post Tropical sees the Irish musician leaving behind the traditional instrumentation of his debut for more atmospheric and rhythm-and-blues influenced song structures. Fans of his earlier work will recognize his Dublin-tinged falsetto and magnetic melodies, but what’s most evident about Post Tropical is McMorrow’s creativity and skill in the studio. Sonic treats pepper the entire record, from the off-kilter wind chime plinks on opener “Cavalier” to the synesthesia-inducing waterfall harps on “The Lakes” and “Gold.” His accented cooing and electronic instrumental elements will doubtlessly draw James Blake comparisons, and the fluttering harmonic flourishes in tandem with a soaring brass section will bring some of the more epic Bon Iver moments to mind. Indeed, the ease with which a new listener may make the aforementioned comparisons is a potential weakness of the record, but to begin and end there would be reductive. Post Tropical should gain McMorrow plenty of new fans, and it certainly won’t lose him any.