Apparently all it takes for me to get over that pesky WRITERS BLOCK hump is word that Irish electro-house songstress (and former voice of Moloko) Róisín Murphy is working on a new record. The more you know. Late Wednesday afternoon, Murphy posted a picture on her Instagram. The picture looks to be handwritten notes, presumably written by Murphy herself, describing her new album (her first in 7 years!). While the handwriting is a bit difficult to read, she thankfully typed it out for all of us to read.
According to Murphy:
“There was a desire to make an unquestionably refined record. It’s multi layered, electronic and live instrumentation, musically it goes to places most pop music never does. It’s emotionally bare and laced with irony. I definitely didn’t set out to make something unique per-se but eddie’s vision is like nobody else’s on the planet and it really is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. So it’s impossible to describe except to say..it’s heartfelt.”
In summary, Róisín Murphy‘s new “multi-layered” album will be “electronic” with “live instrumentation. She also says that “musically it goes to places most pop music never does.” OK – so she’s still calling it pop music. GOOD sign. She continues, calling the new material “emotionally bare and laced with irony.” Hmmm. Well, she doesn’t explicitly say dark or sad so I’m still thinking positive. She confirms again that she’s working on the record with Eddie [Stevens] (Freakpower, Zero 7, Sia), with whom she collaborated with while in Moloko and on into her solo career. She praises Eddie’s vision, calling it “like nobody else’s on the planet,” ending the sentence with “it really is like nothing you’ve ever heard before.” Promising? Absolutely! As excited as we all are (or should be), Róisín Murphy makes A LOT of bold statements here. I want to keep an open mind here but there are some red flags (“live instrumentation,” “emotionally bare,” “unquestionably refined“) that call to mind Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s 2014 studio effort, the downtrodden and relatively forgettable Wanderlust. Then again, “live instrumentation, “emotionally bare” and “unquestionably refined” could also be the makings of a truly phenomenal record, especially combined with the “electronic” aspect she talks about. Only time will tell I suppose.
While 7 years seems like a long time to wait between albums Murphy hasn’t been sitting on her hands. In 2009 she gave birth to her first child (now 5 years old) with artist Simon Henwood, followed a few years later in 2012 by the birth of a second child (now 2) with Sebastiano Properzi. It will be interesting to see how (if at all) motherhood has influenced her sound. Her last album, 2007’s PHENOMENALLY underrated Overpowered was a Top 20 hit for Murphy in the UK. While the album failed to produce any substantial radio hits (“You Know Me Better” peaked at #13) Overpowered was chock-FULL of infectious electrop jams produced by Andy Cato, Seiji, Jimmy Douglass and Richard X to name a few. In the years following Overpowered, Róisín released a number of standalone tracks (“Orally Fixated” & “Momma’s Place” in 2010; “Simulation” in 2012) as well as some prominent features on electronic tracks from Mason, David Morales, Boris Dlugosch and most recently Freeform Five (“Leviathan“). With each track and feature released, anticipation and excitement over the a new solo album built up only to be let down by…well nothing. The first REAL PROMISING hint that something was coming came with the release of a six-track EP in Italian (released via The Vinyl Factory) back in May. Not necessarily what we were expecting, but in interviews Murphy did suggest that a PROPER Róisín Murphy album was imminent. Now, with this post on Facebook it seems Murphy is gearing up for something big.
Based on the description, it sounds like her new album lands somewhere in the middle of the pop spectrum between MOLOKO, Ruby Blue (Murphy’s 2005 Matthew Herbert-produced quirky indiepop debut) and Overpowered. According to an May 2014 interview with The Guardian, Murphy says that roughly 30 songs were written and that she was “whittling them down” for another full-length album.
While we wait let’s all sit back and enjoy the videos for “You Know Me Better” and “Let Me Know.”