James Vincent Mcmorrow

Fri, Apr 22, 2011, 01:00

Pepper Canister Church, Mount St, Dublin Wed/Thurs 8pm 20 (sold out) 0818-719300

There’s something about a singer-songwriter gigging in a church that will either set the teeth on edge or cause a wave of calm to wash over you. We’ve already seen James Vincent McMorrow play a church (St James in Dingle in December), so we’re wise to his game.

Sorry, did we say game? If truth be told, Dubliner McMorrow (formerly a hardcore fan who learned how to play drums to the likes of At the Drive-In and Glassjaw) doesn’t play games when it comes to his music. McMorrow was a deserved nominee in this year’s Choice Music Prize list, and the songs on his debut album, Early in the Morning, take a bunch of feathers out of Bon Iver’s cap and tickle your nose with them.

Not that you’d laugh – these are husky, whispered and sparse songs of despair and wistfulness that reference classic soul singers (Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye) and classic folkies (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). The blend of the two musics, accompanied by McMorrow’s silken voice, is enough to break a hitherto impenetrable heart. So take heed, church attendees: no snuffling in the pews!

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