Sean McMorris – C’est La Vie

 

Sean McMorris – C’est La Vie

Sean McMorris – C’est La Vie

 

Sean McMorris – C’est La Vie

 

ARTIST NAME: Sean McMorris

 

SONG TITLE: C’est La Vie

 

ALBUM TITLE: C’est La Vie

 

RELEASE DATE: April 19, 2019

 

GENRE: Alternative Pop/Rock

 

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Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.

I’ve always been drawn to writing original music and have spent very little time in cover bands. Over three decades, multiple bands and solo projects, I’ve developed a fairly unique approach. Ultimately, my voice, songs, lyrics, and melodies allow me to stand apart. Producer Christian Cassan has definitely helped shape the sound of my records.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

It’s very difficult to break through the noise out there. But, the internet and social media are powerful tools for independents like me to help us reach out to people. I’ve released three solo albums so far, and it’s my preferred medium. A single just doesn’t tell you much about the artist. That said; there’s something to be said about putting out singles in this day and age. Let’s face it – it’s cheaper and quicker.

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State your experience as a musician.

I’m a top-shelf drummer who attended the Berklee College of Music. I finished my Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance at CUNY. I’ve played with theatrical legend/Tony Award winner Bill Irwin, with Richard Lloyd of television, and countless other projects ranging from jazz, blues, rock, to R&B.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

I’m all for it as long as the artists are able to make a living. The problem is, as always, who controls the channels of distribution and how does the money flow.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

I’m working hard on social media to reach new eardrums. I’m also gathering songs and ideas for the next album. I’d like to perform a few shows but have no plans for touring.

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite.

Parker Millsap, Tal Wilkenfeld, Milk Cartons Kids, Wilco, Neil Finn, The Punch Brothers, Radiohead, and many more…

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Tell us your best song up to date.

I have no contractual obligations to release anything; therefore I only put out my best stuff. I just released C’est La Vie which is as good as the best of them and also happens to be upbeat, danceable and catchy.

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

Anyone, anywhere in the world, with an internet connection, has access to my music. That’s the single biggest change for musicians. You don’t need a record label for worldwide distribution. Social media allows you to reach out to potential new fans everywhere.

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.

Fame is still the single most powerful factor in marketing and selling. Independents don’t have the kind of budgets necessary to exploit this reality. It should be more about the music and less about marketing anyway, but that’s just how it goes!

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Share your press release.

Sean McMorris is a cunning pop tunesmith who taps into the hook-laden vein that runs from The Beatles through Crowded House up to the present moment, mixing reflective, philosophical lyrics with earworm melodies for maximum impact.

 

Besides being a gifted singer/songwriter with three albums to his credit, he’s also a top-shelf drummer who refined his skills at the Berklee College of Music and played with rock heroes and cult figures alike.

 

Despite sporting as Irish-sounding a name as you can find, McMorris grew up in Paris, France before making his way to the U.S. as a teenager.

 

After attending Berklee, he eventually made his way to New York City, where he played with everyone from theatrical legend Bill Irwin on Broadway to Richard Lloyd of punk-era icons Television.

 

In the 2000s, he worked with NYC bands Peg, The Blondes Inc., and Lazy Lions.

 

In 2013, the brainy pop gems McMorris had been honing for ages finally made their way to the ears of the wider world for the first time when he released his solo debut LP, Lo & Behold.

 

Two years later, he followed it up with another album’s worth of trenchant tunes, Elevated Man.

 

In 2018, McMorris relocated to Los Angeles, where he’s currently keeping his drumming skills sharp by working with Billy Joseph & The Army of Love.

 

This year, he’s released his third and most ambitious album yet, C’est La Vie. Working closely with producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Christian Cassan (best known as indie-pop phenomenon Jonathan Coulter’s right-hand man), McMorris has crafted a set of songs that are simultaneously more emotionally weighted and more gracefully crafted than anything he’s done before.

 

In addition to the melodic tapestry weaved throughout the album by McMorris and Cassan, C’est La Vie boasts some extra sonic firepower courtesy of a rock guitar giant. Cassan got the tunes to Dave Gregory, known far and wide as XTC and Big Big Train’s lead guitarist. Gregory liked what he heard, and added his unique sound to a number of tunes on the album, giving it that extra musical boost up into the stratosphere.

 

Never at a loss for ideas, McMorris always has at least another album’s worth of songs at the ready by the time he’s released the last one. So don’t be too surprised if he pops out another LP full of equally enticing tunes before you’ve fully absorbed his latest.

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Share your review.

Jacob Aiden for Jamsphere Music Magazine, April 2019

 

I really enjoy music that reflects the artist, not artists that reflect the music. Sean McMorris’ songwriting and lyrics are impeccable, and this album aptly illustrates his immense ability. Put it on and let it play through. Every track is great, one of his best to showcase his songwriting capabilities.

 

Sean is an amazing talent whose rough edges only make his brilliance shine brighter. This is an important record. Not just for a Sean McMorris fan to have, but for any fan of genuine music. The first three songs alone are worth 5 stars.

 

For example, if you listen to the amazing opening track “Don’t You Let It” on headphones, you can crank up the volume to hear the beautifully layered acoustic guitars and shimmering keyboards. And when Dave Gregory’s guitar solo slides in, it’s quite euphoric.

 

Guest guitarist Dave Gregory of XTC and Big Big Train appears on 4 tracks on this album. The sound is primarily rock, emotionally strong, and upbeat, so expect driving and intense arrangements like the title track, “C’est la Vie” and the guitar crunch of “Strong and Gentle Hands,” which again features Gregory’s six-string.

 

First, these songs excite you. Then, they leave you gently melancholic. Then, they make you blissfully nostalgic. I’m talking about the triad of tracks that comprise “Vortex”, “Never to be Heard Again” and “She Spins a Revolution”. They invigorate you to the degree that you know this is more than just entertainment.

 

Once more, Sean shows maturity both in his guitar style as well as his singing voice, which is in fine form. It helps, of course, that he is playing alongside a bunch of highly competent musicians such as Christian Cassan, Bennet Paster, Thad Debrock, Richard Feridun, and the aforementioned Dave Gregory.

 

As we move ahead through the album, the quality of the compositions, lyrics, creativity, musicianship, and vocals is of the highest tier. “Winds of Love”, “The Yearning”, “No Ordinary Life” and “Crazy” should be spiritedly embraced in the same pantheon of music as his more famous peers.

 

Eloquent and poignant the motifs of “The Yearning”, upbeat and jangly the tones of “Winds of Love”. Throughout Sean McMorris seems to be in a comfort zone that makes the record feel more complete.

 

All things considered, Sean has yet again put together a fine record that proves his consistently excellent knack for song-craft.

 

In a music industry where mindless pop clogs our charts, a musician such as Sean McMorris is more than a breath of fresh air. That he will build momentum and popularity over time should be inevitable…in a perfect, just world.

 

Unfortunately, we’re stuck in this impaired one – C’est la vie! Luckily Sean McMorris is right where he needs to be artistically – a top-notch singer and songwriter, at the height of his game. He is a wonderful artist, and I couldn’t possibly love this album more.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song.

The idea that, in the age of social media, it’s never been easier to “find yourself a mate who shares your distaste,” had been floating in my head for a while. Social media is the perfect vehicle for the “misery loves company,” crowd. One’s antennae must be on high alert at all times. Prick up your ears and read between the lines!

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

As it does most of the time, it all begins with an acoustic guitar in hand. I tend to work out about 80% of it on my own and leave enough room for producer Christian Cassan and me to sit together and finalize the tempo, the form, the chord changes, etc.

 

We then record acoustic guitar and vocals and build the track from there. The acoustic guitar is sometimes abandoned as the track organically develops into its own through exploration, trial & error!

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

“That’s life” is a direct translation of the French expression “C’est la vie.” It’s used when you resign yourself to accepting something for what it is. The irony is built into it. English equivalents would be “that’s how it goes,” “that’s the way the cookie crumbles,” or “it is what it is.”

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

For the title for the album, I appreciate the more literal meaning of C’est La Vie. It simply says, “This is life,” where the entire collection of songs paints a broad picture of the times we live in, in all its complexities.

 

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