Soul singer/song-writer, James Morrison released his new album, ‘You’re Stronger Than You Know’, yesterday, Friday the 8th of March 2018. The release comes ahead of Morrison’s first UK tour in three years, which is set to commence, in Norwich, on the 25th of March 2019, before concluding, in Essex, on the 16th of June 2019.
The album, inspired by the classic soul of the Motown and Stax eras, provides a strong follow up to his previous release, 2015’s ‘Higher Than Here’. You could say that this is the album that Morrison has always wanted to make, while vocally he’s never sounded better, with his honest song-writing inspiring a voice that exudes power, tenderness and experience.
His latest release sees, Morrison work with one producer, Mark Taylor, which brings a cohesiveness and classic vision. Recorded at the British Grove Studios, in London, provided the perfect location for recording with a balance between vintage equipment and modern technology. The release of the album comes ahead of Morrison’s eight-date UK tour, which will see him heading across the UK, which will include a show, at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, on the 27th of March 2019.
Speaking about his return after four years, Morrison, said: “I’ve been excited to get moving again especially with music that I feel good about. That’s taken me a while to get that together. Even though I’m saying it’s my best album in terms of the sound of it and how it was made and the feeling that I had when I was writing the songs, and putting it together was really natural, I still feel like there’s a better album in me but the format of how it’s presented is my favourite bit of it. I feel excited because (my album) is nothing like what’s getting playing on radio. It’s quite straightforward band in a room really, which you don’t get a lot these days.”
The album was previewed with the release of its lead single, ‘My Love Goes On’, which features Joss Stone.“I always love working with people, especially when they have a wicked voice like Joss. She’s from the same musical heritage as me. I’m excited to celebrate soul music with another artist who is recognised for soul,” says Morrison.
While working on a follow-up to ‘Higher Than Here’, Morrison saw everything around him nearly collapse. His relationship hit tough times and he lost his natural song-writing instinct. His previous label was pushing him to write uplifting music, while he was in the pits of despair.
Writing songs with no particular end goal in mind, Morrison gradually overcame his struggles until he realised that he had a collection of some of the best material of his career that contains both darkness and light. It sees Morrison digging into his emotions over the past four years. It’s particularly striking in the powerful centrepiece ‘Slowly’, in which he questions how to reignite his creativity and tackles his tumultuous upbringing with his parents.
Speaking about his creative freedom with this album and what surprised him, Morrison, said: “There’s one song on the album called Slowly, which I’ve had for four years and I always loved it when I when I first did it. I never put it on the last album and I was thinking it was one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”
“It just sounds really good. It sounds a bit more rocky, I want to get into that side of music a little bit more. Get away from the pop stuff and get a bit heavier. More soulful, more R&B or more heavier rock wise. I’m really getting into the idea of how to get that.”
Warwickshire-born Morrison began his career as a teenager, busking then playing in bars, before finding his breakthrough with his 2006 debut single, ‘You Give Me Something’ from his debut album, ‘Undiscovered’. Since then, Morrison’s soulful singing and song-writing has brought him a BRIT award, two Number 1 albums and seven million sales.
James Morrison UK Tour 2019:
25/03/2019 – UEA – Norwich
26/03 – De La Warr Pavilion – Bexhill
27/03 – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – London
29/03 – O2 Academy – Bristol
30/03 – O2 Institute – Birmingham
01/04 – Old Fruitmarket – Glasgow
02/04 – Albert Hall – Manchester
16/06 – Live at Down Hall – Essex