James Vincent McMorrow Releases New Album 'Wide Open, Horses'

Wide open, horses is a candid snapshot of everything that has brought McMorrow to this point.

By: Jun. 14, 2024
James Vincent McMorrow Releases New Album 'Wide Open, Horses'
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Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has released his seventh studio album, Wide open, horses. The album release follows previously released singles "Never gone," "Give up," "Call me back," and "Things we tell ourselves," along with the announcement of an extensive tour across the UK, EU, and North America.

Wide open, horses is a candid snapshot of everything that has brought McMorrow to this point. The album signifies a retaking of his narrative, freeing self-acceptance and rebuilding his sense of self and connection to music.

McMorrow says on the album, "To me, the album is about finding relief from the cycle of life's pressure. 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 can…The 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 2023, he 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 McMorrow recorded it to "see what worked and what didn't work."

"I literally performed the album before it was recorded," says James. "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.

In Wide open, horses, McMorrow rewards audiences with remarkable openness and vulnerability. From the uncertain first performances of these songs to an unsuspecting audience, inviting his young daughter Margot to record the heart-wrenching yet playful duet on "Give up," to even recording "Stay cool" in a single take, McMorrow lays himself bare. By reclaiming his identity, he crafted a beautifully transparent and honest album.

To celebrate the album's release, McMorrow has shared the lead track, "Look up!!" The track sees him combine leftfield samples with synth lines, banjo, and lap steel, underpinning hook-led, occasionally theatrical vocals. It's a perfect way to round off the release, capturing McMorrow's thirst for creative evolution and exploration without forgetting the importance of good songwriting.


McMorrow is also taking Wide open, horses back to the stage this summer with headline dates across the EU, UK, and North America. Full dates are as follows:

EU / UK:

June 15: London, Barbican - SOLD OUT
June 17: Paris, Maroquinerie - SOLD OUT
June 19: Amsterdam, Carré theatre 
June 21: Berlin, Saalchen
Jul 01: Madrid, Noches Del Botánico 
Aug 02: Waterford, All Together Now Festival , Ireland 

North America:

July 15: Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
July 16: San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
July 18: Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
July 19: Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
July 20: Vancouver Folk Festival, BC
July 21: Sidney, Mary Winspear Centre, BC
July 23: Red Bird Brewery, Kelowna, BC - SOLD OUT 
July 24: Edmonton, Myer Horowitz Theatre 

Tracklisting:

1. Never gone
2. Look up!!!
3. No One Get's What They Wanted
4. Stay Cool
5. Wide Open, Horses
6. The Day All The Lights Went Out
7. Give Up
8. The Standard
9. Things We Tell Ourselves
10. White Out
11. Darkest Days Of Winter
12. Call Me Back
13. Meet Me In The Garden

About James Vincent McMorrow:

James has beckoned listeners to open their minds and hearts since his emergence in 2010. He gathered over 1 billion streams across an expansive catalog along the way. Among many standouts, "Higher Love" went BPI Gold in the UK and ARIA platinum in Australia. His cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" soundtracked the trailer for Season Six of HBO's Game of Thrones and generated over 130 million Spotify streams on its Live At Killkenny Arts Festival version. Toppling charts, 2016's We Move notably debuted at #1 in Ireland. At the same time, he lent his voice to "Hype" from Drake's multiplatinum blockbuster Views, "I'm In Love" from Kygo's Cloud Nine, and "Run Away" from dvsn's Morning After, among others. 2022's The Less I Knew arrived to critical acclaim as Variance attested, "It makes for the perfect listen in the midst of these complicated times, brimming with emotion and candidly confronting struggle while also looking to a brighter day." Meanwhile, he's sold out tours on multiple continents, even twice packing the world-famous Sydney Opera House.

Photo Credit: Rich Gilligan



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