It all started with the new BBC series “Sherlock”. It took me considerably more time than it took most Cumberbitches to fall under the spell of Benedict, the new British acting phenomenon. But I did, around the end of episode 1 of series 2, and by the time I finished “Sherlock” I was hungering for more. Mr Cumberbatch led me to a few beautiful movies, relatively unknown to the general public. “Wreckers” (2011) and “Van Gogh: Painted in words” (2010), as well as “Hawking” (2004) would definitely deserve more recognition. But the movie that twisted my guts and heart and soul in so many ways I felt drenched in my own sorrow at the end was “Third star”, something I previously considered a silly comedy based on its cover, not really worth seeing, just maybe. Possibly. Just to tick it off my list. And then it turned out to be THE movie of the week. Month. Probably year. It’s among those that reached so deep within my soul that I found it impossible to watch anything else after that. For a long time. It’s a very simple story with a very simple backdrop of human emotions that nonetheless runs deep, deep, deeper than most things we see on the big screen. The kind of story that has always appealed to me, and I dare say I wouldn’t have discovered it, had it not been for Ben. So for that, I am grateful to him. (And many other things.)

The movie featured a song toward the very (heart-wrenching) end. I could not believe how beautiful it was. Not only because of the scene it painted a background to… I must have heard it a hundred times or more since then, and it’s always been as beautiful as when I heard it for the first time. And then I discovered that the guy who sang it had just released his first album. The next logical step was downloading the album, and it’s safe to say that in the past two months I have mostly listened to this one album. (And Christophe Willem, but again, that’s a different story.) Every single song on it is untainted by pretentiousness or lies. The melodies and lyrics are as genuine as they come in the independent music industry. The songwriter is Irish, which doesn’t surprise me… Damien Rice and Glen Hansard are his compatriots… there’s something about Irish folk-singers that gets to me big time. There’s a sensitivity that seems to pervade the current folk musical scene in that country. I don’t know how they do it, but they simply pulverize my heart. So to cut the story short, JVMM’s album “Early in the morning” has become MY FAVOURITE ALBUM OF THE YEAR. It evokes a kind of nostalgia and longing in me that transcends reality. The songs simply transport me, they provide a fertile ground for reveries and daydreams and my contemplating mood that some people mistake for melancholia. I’m a thinker, I like my solitude, and I like depth. James Vincent is definitely like me. If I could make music, it would be like this. No debate.

So this is one of my recent, most cherished treasures. And I discovered it thanks to Ben Cumberbatch. Its appeal probably has a lot to do with Ben’s private (very strong) appeal, but I am fair enough to acknowledge the merits of this album. It’s perfect from beginning to end. It stands on its own as a piece of musical art and I’m so darn grateful I’ve been shoved into its direction!

…and then there are the rest of the songs from the album… I feel like posting ALL OF THEM. I simply must share the first song, it’s like… like… like nothing else I’ve ever heard.