James Vincent McMorrow Discusses “How to Waste a Moment,” Remixers, and Breakfast in America [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]


There shouldn’t be any doubt in any of our reader’s minds with regards to our unwavering affinity for Mr. James Vincent McMorrow, or JVM, as so many of you lovingly call him. Dating all the way back to April of 2011, we’ve been enamored with his unique, intoxicating, and highly addictive vocal tone and style, continually waiting for each and every new release.

After seeing JVM a few times in different cities across the states, we were finally able to catch up with him and have a quick chat about his marathon of touring, the upcoming album, and, of course, breakfast food in America.

TMN: Hey James. Thanks for sitting down with us tonight. Is this your first time in the Mile High City?

JVM: Yeah. Is that what you call it? Mile High City?

TMN: Yep. We’re 5,280 feet above sea level. You just performed at Mishawaka, which we’ve somehow never been to. How was your experience up there?

JVM: Yeah. Saw a Bear. Played by a roaring river. It was cool…it’s a strange little V. It’s a narrow strip of land because you have the river here, and the road here (gesturing with his hands), and you have this little bar there. Beautiful bar, actually – really good food and nice people. It felt a little bit like playing in Austin, at Stubbs…if you’ve ever been there. Outdoor. Dirt floor. Rickety stage. It was really atmospheric. Once it got dark, it was real cool.

This is the fun period. We’ve done 150 shows since the last record came out. This is the end of the cycle. It wasn’t ever on my bucket list, to play the Mishawaka, but it really cool. It was a co-bill with a band called Dawes, which we don’t overlap crowds a whole lot. My crowd is very different from their crowd. So, that means there’s a lot of people there that are like – “impress me.” Which, I love. It’s cool.

TMN: Over the past few years, you’ve done quite a bit of touring through the states. We’ve had the pleasure of catching you at Coachella and in New York. What have some of your highlights been?

JVM: My highlights are like – in the last two years – playing two nights in the Sydney Opera House. That’s just not something I ever expected to happen. It’s such an iconic place. Selling out two nights there was a real moment for me – a real marker – to a level we had never been before. We had done shows in Australia in January for like 700 people, and we were like “we’ll be back.” Then we came back and sell it (Sydney Opera House) out in super quick time.

Coachella was cool, even though it was a stressful tour to me. That tour was amazing because we sold everything out. Even though crazy stuff was was happening to us logistically, every show was amazing. It was so much fun. It felt like the 70’s or something – shit would go wrong and we couldn’t fix it, so we would just have to roll with it. That whole tour was a whole moment.

There’s a festival in Ireland called Electric Picnic, and we headlined on Saturday night. That was really special for me, because that’s a big festival for an Irish person.

Those are the ones that jump out to me.

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Two Cartoons – Males [TMN PREMIERE]

Two Cartoons

We’re always happy to bring you fresh, new tracks on Monday morning, knowing full and well it will help ease you into your work week. Today, we have a rippin’ indie rock song coming to your ears from all the way down in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Coming off their debut album, Happiness is Trouble, “Males” showcases not only the raw musical talent Two Cartoon’s possess, but their songwriting ability as well. Calling on associations of Brit Pop acts like The Kooks and The Wombats, an immediate familiarity floods through with a catchy guitar cadence, hazy vocals, and upbeat percussion. While that, and the oh-so-addictive chorus, are more than enough to reel us in, these two take a turn to the heavy, dropping into a devastatingly wicked guitar solo. For those readers out there who grew up pretending to wail out on your air guitar in your bedroom – get ready to dust it off. You’ll need it.

Lyrically, “Males” gives listeners an acutely self-aware glimpse into the band’s struggle in fighting an all-too-familiar stigma. Fearing being seen as the typical, aggressive, oft-misogynistic man that can be found in any number of bars and clubs in any city across the globe, they’re left wanting to “never leave home,” to avoid any association with that stereotype. Here in the states, we call those guys “Bros,” and we can certainly understand the concern for that societal affiliation.

“Males” can be found on Happiness Is Trouble early next year on Far South Records. We strongly suggest you follow these cats on facebook to keep tabs on the official release date.

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[Folk] Conner Youngblood – Birds of Finland

Conner Youngblood
The Birds of Finland

Every time we hear a new song from Texas-based Conner Youngblood, we have to stop and ask ourselves, “Why isn’t this kid blowing up right now?” Not to discredit the success he’s already experienced, especially given the reach of tracks like “Australia” and “The Warpath.” But, in our eyes, Conner Youngblood should be a household name. He’s been a long-time favorite of ours, both within TMN HQ, and individually amongst writers, and it can’t be too much longer before droves of others are proclaiming the same.

There’s a certain casual, unassuming, and welcoming vibe from Youngblood’s music. It’s not pretentious. It’s not overly complicated. It’s just…good. “Birds of Finland” shows us that again, as we experience a blend of experimental and familiar. We’re welcomed in by strange, vocoder-filtered vocals, oriental-style strings, and understanded piano keys. The song transitions into a powerful, building folk song, highlighted by that voice we’ve come to know and love through the years.

“Birds of Finland” can be found on his upcoming EP, Generation of Lift, due out October 9th.

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[Indie] Ofelia K – Gone

Ofelia K

It seems like it’s been ages since we first came across the incapacitating and hauntingly beautiful voice of Ms. Ofelia K. In reality, though, it’s only been a handful of months since we fell head-over-heels with “White T-Shirt.” Like a pleasant, unexpected text from a long time friend, this impressive indie chanteuse has come back into our lives, and we’re pretty damn thrilled about it.

“Gone” draws listeners in with a slow, calming, piano-driven build, which eventually leads us to those softly-sung vocals we’re so easily enamored with. Coupled with a reverberating beat, playful synths, and subdued percussion, “Gone” will quickly have you lost deep inside your own mind, and blissfully so.

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[Indie-Pop] Death In The Afternoon – We Don’t Have To Go Out Tonight [TMN Premiere]

Death In The Afternoon
We Don't Have To Go Out Tonight

Death in the Afternoon, who are earnestly named after an Ernest Hemingway novel, is a Swedish joint collaboration dabbling in the highly addictive combination of 80’s washed synth-pop, indie and shoegaze. Already displaying a tasteful pop maturity beyond what their modest 7 track catalog would suggest, we got our hands on DITA’s latest single “We Don’t Have To Go Out Tonight” before anyone else and it weaves wonderfully within their stylish sonic design. Much like its predecessors, the third single off of their impending self-titled LP, which is due out October 30th on Summer Heart’s Sommarhjärta label, remains airy, dreamy, craftily arranged, filled with stunning vocal play form the pair and all the while sporting enough hooky melody to have us swooning for the rest of the week. Furthering everything along, “We Don’t Have To Go Out Tonight”‘s layers of interloping male and female vocals compliment each other superbly by creating a soft yet powerful veil over the complete composition. Just beautiful stuff, really.

Clearly, the duo simply known as Christian & Linda have synced their artistic measures perfectly and landed as one of our favorite burgeoning indies to emerge on our radar this year. Stream Death In The Afternoon’s latest single “We Don’t Have To Go Out Tonight” above in the form of a shiny new ‘TMN Premiere’, and be on the lookout for the pair’s debut LP soon.

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Crywolf – The Making Of Cataclasm, Episode 1: Lásabrjótur [TMN VIDEO PREMIERE]


Cat”a*clasm\ n. A breaking asunder; a violent disruption.

The creative process is a fickle beast. There are countless factors that can adversely affect you – from work, to romance, to the very environment that surrounds you. We certainly understand these trials and tribulations, to a degree, even though what we’re doing is on a much simpler level than creating music.

Crywolf recently experienced a collective of aforementioned factors, which lead him to do something completely outside the box. Yes, plenty of artists, whether they be writers, painters, or musicians, have gone to a secluded spot, far away from society, to draw some inspiration. Few have chosen to fly halfway across the globe to obtain said inspiration. The end result for Crywolf is a body of work known as Cataclasm, which was written in a village in Iceland.


At the beginning of this year, I started feeling super discontent with where I was musically and creatively in general. I felt stifled from being so deep in the music industry – felt so much pressure to be so many things I wasn’t. I decided to get away for a month and a half to a cabin in the remote Icelandic village of Bildudalur, population 65, to intensively write and record the skeleton for my debut album. What I returned with was more than I could have dreamed of, and I am ridiculously proud of it.

Fans of Crywolf will once again find themselves pleasantly lost in the vast soundscapes, and that gorgeous vocal tone that they’ve come to love and appreciate over the years. Those who haven’t crossed paths with this brilliant, young musician, will have their eyes and ears perk up at the hauntingly beautiful collection of songs.

To highlight this life and art-changing experience, Crywolf has put together a mini documentary series, which kicks off here, today, on The Music Ninja. The song featured in the video is “Rising, Rising,” which will be found on this upcoming LP.

I wanted you guys to be able to follow me on this journey, to be able to see everything that went into this album; the trip to get there, the process of sourcing equipment, the isolation, the moments of inspiration, everything. One chapter of the series will be released with each of the singles from the album, each one named after a different Icelandic stave, which were symbols used in 17th century Iceland thought to have magical powers.

The first episode, Lásabrjótur (Lock-breaker), represents breaking free of the norms and standards that I am used to in my music. It documents the process of getting to Iceland, sourcing equipment, and trying not to freeze to death.

Photo credits: Elise Mackay

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[Synth-Wave] Jordan F – Mesmerised (ft. Dana Jean Phoenix)

Jordan F
Mesmerised (feat. Dana Jean Phoenix)

“Mesmerised” is the latest John Hughes-era tipping single, from Sydney producer Jordan F, featuring the gorgeous voice of Canadian singer/songwriter Dana Jean Phoenix and it’s washed over us quite wonderfully on this warm Friday afternoon. The first taste of Jordan F’s impending sophomore LP, Timelines, “Mesmerised” keeps the Australian artist’s evocative synth sounds and infectious retro-meldies fully intact. A pulsating retro-wave beat drives “Mesmerised” while Dana Jean Phoenix’s delicate refrain has us drawing up comparison’s to College & Desire, while appreciating the full scope of Jordan F’s rangey production. Together, the pair have created a warm, atmospheric slice of synth-pop that is beyond easy to be swept up in and a perfect song to prime us for what will most likely be a rambunctious weekend. Stream “Mesmerised” above.


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