Single Review: James Vincent McMorrow, “Cavalier” (2014)

Ever listen to a song that’s so good that you have to listen to it 32 times on repeat? If I’m the only one who does that, forgive me, but the only reason you haven’t done it is because you haven’t heard James Vincent McMorrow’s single, “Cavalier” yet.


Irish singer-songwriter, McMorrow, recently released his second album, “Post Tropical”, but I heard of him two years ago after his song, “Ghosts” was featured on the Breaking Dawn: Part 2 soundtrack (shush…the movies are awful but the soundtracks are good!). I was so impressed by the song that I started listening to McMorrow’s other music, which is equally amazing.

“Cavalier” is the lead single from the Post Tropical album, and it’s utterly breathtaking. It’s one of those songs that you can’t just listen to once, because every time the track ends, you’ll want to just listen to it again. The song is a mid-tempo ballad, that starts off quietly enough with McMorrrow’s velvety falsetto taking up most of the track. There’s some soft piano in the background, but the main focus is McMorrow’s smooth vocals (he actually sounds a bit like Bon Iver). The orchestration gradually picks up with drums, synths, hand claps, and McMorrow kicks his vocals into full gear, giving an incredibly passionate performance.

Lyrically, the track is about a break-up (the line, “I remember my first love” is repeated throughout), and though there are many beautifully poetic lines (“Nothing made it seem/Hidden where the aging soil was pure/Pressed against the crease/Mountains become fragrant at the source ”), the real focus is on the beautiful way the music crescendos. Really, this is one of those tracks that I recommend listening to with your full attention, preferably with headphones in, a glass of wine, and the lights off.

Anyone that’s fan of indie-rock should stop what they’re doing and check “Cavalier” out right now. And then listen to it on repeat 31 more times.

Rating: 5_stars.svg

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