For his upcoming fifth album, Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow is taking a radically different approach to making music, and this should come as no surprise. “I don’t like sitting still,” he says. “Everyone that’s followed my career musically knows that I never sit still.” The album is his first project after signing to a new, bigger music label, which turned his usual creative process on its head.
His latest release, a single off the album titled “Headlights,” was in collaboration with songwriter Justin Parker. This was McMorrow’s first co-write, and though he was apprehensive about sitting “in rooms with people and [making] things from scratch,” he welcomed the opportunity to create and grow as an artist.
“If something is scary, I feel like it might be fruitful.”
The album as a whole centers around embracing chaos, something McMorrow wishes that he had done sooner. Throughout earlier projects, he felt obligated to conform to certain structures and formulas. Now, he’s fully embracing a nonlinear method, approaching each song individually and without the pressures of a particular context or goal. This way of creating is more instinctive, he says, and allows his “chaotic” tendencies to work for him rather than against him. “It was as simple as removing a rulebook that I had put in place myself.”
-Claire Lin Jenkins