W/T Review On Danish Blog Regnsky

I’m posting this in it’s Google translated glory, for those, (most), of us who don’t read Danish. If you do, the original review can be found here.

Thanks to Eva Lakso, my new favourite Danish music writer…and many apologies for Google’s (goofy/surprisingly still impressive) machine-translation.

James Irwin Review

I am so glad that I discovered James Irwin at 23 and not at 11, that it was a very dark blue sky and not a damned light gray as a company. That the world was quiet, so there was time to slow canadierens numbers could find their place.

But now James Irwin here. He hardly even. I imagine at least that he is right now sitting in front of a hut far away in the Canadian wilderness. The perfect scenario for the melancholic sounding, folk influenced album lo-fi-singer/songwriter Western Transport, which came online in early May. Not that many people have figured it out. I think otherwise well that“Ringing Bells” could be played at The Electric Barometer and the home of anyone with a penchant for Bill Callahan ‘s story and evocative texts,  The Zephyrs yellowish color and Cuddle Magic ‘s intimacy – or present itself right next to The New Spring , which Dane’s country-oriented neighbour.

The instrumentation is strikingly confident. It embraces both the indiepop’ede and almost The Morning Benders-wide orchestrated “Nothing At All” , “Needleye” ‘s successful embrace of tradition, people (I would not dream of Cohen) and just after, as if it were not already enough, collectors ‘Boys And Girls Together “ ‘s finger games and tortured, but eternally beautiful vocal harmonies on my imagined heart and squeezes together. Not hard, but noticeably. The grip is loosened by the straightforward melodic “Halfway To Mexico” , stressing that James Irwin despite lo-fi approach hopes that his music is pleasant to hear.Which it is. Especially after the first few numbers. I need to get familiar with the half-husky, half nasal, while insanely endearing vokals often stumbling melody lines. James Irwin momentary tonal groping gives me so much pleasure to read this text, find out why it’s worth beating knot on the tongue to sing words like “prairie” and “pillage”.

Listening to Western Transportation ‘s like staring into the fire and seems an uncomfortable world is okay, because you just now just looking into the fire because there is absolutely quiet and because you are there, the rest of the world is far away. Western Transport takes me out of any situation and replaces it with a static, hot vacuum outside of time and place.As the opening track “Bluedust” ‘s referent initially makes it clear: I’m going to Disappear .

James Irwin lives in Montreal and playing in My People Sleeping , Paradise , Poor William andThe Coal Choir , which I probably will read about here. Western Transportation is his first solo album, and it can be purchased digitally through Band Camp as the only place . Here you can also read the lyrics and listen for free. A vinyl would love to come this fall.

Western Transport Review

Check it out here or read below


Western Transport

James Irwin is not a typical singer/songwriter.  Perhaps this is obvious, given his giant melting face.  This image, the album cover of his debut Western Transport, is fitting: the James Irwin we hear on this album is no person, but a voice seemingly severed from its source; a flat, tempered force that invokes, directs, and sustains.

With Western Transport, Irwin presents a cohesive tribute to the overwhelmed and underfed: the lost lovers and consumed; roles rarely acknowledged, often too close for comfort. With this delicate context, Irwin chooses to emphasize the holding of moments over their resolve, using striking imagery and artful nuance to powerful, distilling effect.

It’s a wonderfully lyrical album, far outside what I might expect from an unknown voice.  But Irwin is not exactly an unknown artist: attentive readers may recognize his unique cadence and tone from a decade of published stories and poems.

As a collection of songs, Western Transport shows influence from folk, pop, country, and poetry.  Considered arrangements create uncannily familiar moods, elevating lyrical themes and ultimately showing an impressive and effective sonic pallet.  Also present is a spatial and temporal awareness: Irwin displays a prowess in opening spaces for words to come to life and narratives to unfold (“Hearts Like Old Cars”,  ”Anyone to Serve”).

A rich yet directed production reminiscent of Bill Callahan or Will Oldham makes Western Transport well-suited for easy listening and atmosphere, but it absolutely shines when given full attention.  It is a rare debut: one that not only marks the entrance of a new voice, but broadens what I look for in an album.

How much do I like this album?  A whole lot.  You will, too.  Check out:

  • “Blue Dust”
  • “Halfway to Mexico”


Paradise Demos

In fall 2011 James, met Nicholas Scribner (Clues), Jon Boles (Clues, Maica Mia), and Maica Armata (Maica Mia) and got to know each other playing music. After a few shows and lots of jamming they recorded some demos. (Recorded by Zac Decamp to tape at P.J Mansion in Montreal). Here’s a couple of the tracks that came from the quickly passing experiment ~

PARADISE – First of May 

PARADISE – Disappearing 

Other James Irwins

This guy named James Irwin wrote to me on my myspace. I just responded now…13 months later…he rules!

Mar 10, 2011 

JAMES says


hey james,

I typed my name in an found you. So I thought I would just say hey man way to rock our name out.  Good luck with it I hope to make it huge someday with a book, and you are on your way with music. Just remember that we both have a long way to go because a James Irwin already took it to the moon so we both have a long way to take our name. So anyway good luck to you with our name.  Your name sharing friend James.


This guy named James Irwin saw Jesus while walking on the moon: