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Concerts & Events

Wednesday, November 6, 2024  ·  8:00 PM CST

James Vincent McMorrow

4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000

Irish singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer James Vincent McMorrow shares his new single "Things we tell ourselves," off his forthcoming studio album, Wide Open, Horses. The track comes on the heels of his announcement of an extensive tour across the UK, EU, and North America.

In 2023, McMorrow brought Wide Open, Horses to life - on stage. He booked two nights at The National Concert Hall in Dublin, recorded a handful of lo-fi demos, practiced the material for a week, and then hit the stage. Phones weren't allowed, but James recorded it to “see what worked and what didn't work.”

“I literally performed the album before it was recorded,” he explains. “The whole point was to expose the flaws and also highlight the special little moments. It was an odd experiment, but it worked great. The notion is so simple, ‘Write songs and perform them live'. Without cameras, they were the best shows I've ever played—which is interesting because no one knew the music! Everyone was just experiencing it though. I had friends in the lobby talking to strangers. Who talks to strangers anymore? It was lovely. It was a heartening experience for everyone involved.”

Galvanized by this energy, he hit the studio and assembled Wide Open, Horses. The new single “Things we tell ourselves” – the last to come ahead of his new record - doubles as “a mantra” propelled by a hypnotic drum pattern. The cyclical, math-inflected instrumentation steadily builds as McMorrow repeats the lyrics “I've been thinking about how much I miss you around / If you come back, I'll never let you down”. The deceptively intricate single is one of the most hook-led tracks to come from the record and once again shows McMorrow's ability to take everything that has brought him to this point and consolidate it into something that is at once reflective and anthemic.

“To me, the album is about finding relief from the cycle of life's pressure,” McMorrow continues. “I don't think the theory ‘modernity equals better' holds much water these days. The more technology we add, the more unhappy everyone seems to be. I don't want to move backwards, but I felt a sense of nostalgia and happiness in the album. It would be grandiose of me to think I could offer you some profound release through words and lyrics, but maybe I canThe job is to make a record I love and hopefully offer a respite. Maybe we can all get back to a life where we aren't so obsessed with trying to seek out meaning from absolutely everything.”

In the end, James Vincent McMorrow simply sounds alive on Wide Open, Horses.

“I'm grateful to be here,” he leaves off. “The whole process was rebuilding myself and my connection to music, who I am, and what I wanted to be when I was starting out at 20-years-old. I struggle like everyone else does, but I'm going to appreciate the fuck out of every moment I get now. When I play shows, I want them to be shows you talk about for years. Going through hardship, I'm back to a point where I can see myself very clearly in the music and I know what I can do.”