While he may fall outside of PlanetMosh’s normal musical demographic, there can be no doubt that Northern Irish singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer Michael Mormecha is one hellishly prodigiously talented dude. Our foregoing descriptive of the many aspects of the music business in which he dabbles should be proof enough alone of that assertion.
Perhaps best known as the frontman of alt-rockers Mojo Fury, he likes to keep busy, be it criss-crossing the Atlantic to record an album with another of his pet projects, Malojian (a project being helmed by the one and only Steve Albini), adding his own deft touches to products by a wide variety of NI rock, pop and indie bands such as The Bonnevilles and Runaway Go, to playing blues and soul covers in a downtown pub of a Sunday afternoon… In between all of this, he spends the majority of his time holed up in his own ramshackle recording studio in a converted farmhouse, where he generally just fiddles about with music and recording techniques. Now, having filled the rare space between his multi-various other projects, Mormecha has produced his first solo album…
And it is one which harks back to the time when its progenitor was first introduced to music, when his father gave him a hi-fi system that had two tape decks and a karaoke microphone input; it was a move that he would later consider as integral to his music career, as using this recording equipment, he discovered the concept of over-dubbing and bouncing tracks and spent his weekends spent recording guitar and vocals over various drum beats before, in 2004, laying the foundations for Mojo Fury and the path which he subsequently has trod in order to lead him to this particular moment in time…
As said at the outset, ‘LoFi LiFE’ is an album which falls very much outwith this site’s (and this writer’s) comfort zone. It’s heaviest moments are during the second track, and new single, ‘Happily Lost’, with its dense fuzzed out guitar, snappy percussion, Mormecha’s layered vocal and its psyched vibe; even then, he cannot resist fiddling with the formula, with interjections of electronica and weird time changes. It’s a trend he continues on ‘I Know What You’re Looking For’, which again features fuzzy guitar, multi-dubbed harmonies and, like its predecessor, possesses a White Stripes aura to its tonality.
For its majority, ‘LoFi LiFE’ ploughs a furrow more in keeping with the alt-pop genre for which he is best known, mixing electronica, heavily dubbed percussion and massively layered vocal harmonies with acoustic loquaciousness and touches of Americana. It is a reflection of an artist producing art for its, and his own sake, a (to quote the title of the opening track) ‘Restlesss’ talent not seeking direction but content to expore multiple ones and finding satisfaction at the end of each road travelled. ‘LoFi LiFE’ will not, by any stretch of the imagination, even pass under the notice of the vast majority of the metalheads who read this site, but it is a richly warm and personal album, made all the more rewarding with each listen and a reflection of its creator’s massive talent.
Restless / Happily Lost / I Know What You’re Looking For / Mixtapes / The Opera House / Vicious Delicious / Molly’s Tragedy / Old Moon / Family / Kaleidoscope
Recommended listening: Happily Lost.
- ‘LoFi LiFE’ is released on 9 May via Michael Mormecha’s own Swallow Song Records.
- Michael Mormecha plays Lavery’s Belfast (Back Bar) on Tuesday 26 April. He also can be found most Sundays playing drums in The Unholy Gospel Band, who are fronted by Cormac Neeson of The Answer, at Belfast’s Aether and Echo.
- Profile photograph by The Dark Queen.