James Vincent McMorrow plays Cyprus Avenue on 17 April. Tickets are now on sale at Old Oak and from cyprusavenue.ie.

This is a juicy one

One of Ireland’s most soulful and transcending voices, James Vincent McMorrow, will be sharing the fruits of his latest labours on Leeside next month.

The Dubliner’s new album, ‘Grapefruit Season’, sees him take yet another huge and exciting step in an already unpredictable career.

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.

The album works to embrace the notion that life is chaos while exploring the idea of growing up yet feeling none the wiser. Each song is held together by McMorrow’s instantly identifiable voice, an untethered musical imagination, and purposefully little else in its pursuit of fear-free pop music.

The title itself is all about simply doing what you want to do rather than what you’re supposed to do and 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’, the listener is reminded of the risks McMorrow has taken since the singer-songwriter roots of his 2010 debut album, ‘Early In The Morning’. It is clear, however, that 11 years later those same instincts - to follow inspiration wherever it leads and to be as brutally honest possible - remain a refreshing constant in his work.

Speaking about his latest album, McMorrow says it has been a difficult lesson in patience as he was forced to wait out the pandemic before releasing his new work to the world.

“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.

“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,” the Dubliner explained.

“I don’t know if any of this makes any sense, but ‘Grapefruit Season’ is about embracing the idea that 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 and hope I have done it well with this album. I'm just saying that, at the end of the day, music is a simple, 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,” he added.

James Vincent McMorrow is playing Cork in April on the back of his latest album 'Grapefruit Season'.