By his account, Irish singer James Vincent McMorrow built his reputation as a folk artist somewhat unintentionally, with his breakout debut album Early In The Morning drawing a far larger response than anticipated. The follow-up, Post Tropical is, appropriately, a departure, its sounds inspired by his own early experiments in recreating N.E.R.D. songs and his love of hip-hop and electronic music.
However, with a voice like McMorrow's falsetto, it doesn't really matter what the genre is—the effect is arresting. On "Red Dust," his vocals float and calmly swell in layers over a spare backing of clicking 808s, bass rumbles and isolated swatches of piano. The lyrics are heartbreaking, especially as McMorrow lets the feeling of loneliness crescendo over swirling piano with his repetition of the final phrase, "Sometimes my hands/they don't feel like my own/I need someone to love/I need to someone to hold." Fans of Bon Iver and James Blake will feel right at home, but pretty much wherever you're coming from, this voice is too devastating to ignore.
Post Tropical is out January 14. Check out "Red Dust" below: