- 28 Jun 21
Brilliant third album from Mississippi-born, Ireland-based singer.
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to intuit where the literary vein in John Murry’s songwriting comes from: the Mississippi-born singer was adopted at birth into the family of Nobel Laureate William Faulkner. Some of Faulkner’s legacy – the writer died 17 years before Murry’s birth in 1979 – must have seeped into the young singer, such is the sheer quality of his lyrics, some of his sentiments sailing uncomfortably close to the bone.
Long-time PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish is behind the production desk for this third album, and his influence helps to coax the best out of Murry’s songs, even introducing a skewed pop sensibility from time to time, albeit well hidden. Parish’s fingerprints are all over the title-track, whose scuzzy distorted guitar and driving beat hark back to Stories From The City-era Polly, or even Sparklehorse when the late Mark Linkous was at his most alert. The minimalist vibe of lead single ‘Oscar Wilde (Came Here To Make Fun Of You)’ gives way to an almost-but-not-quite danceable shuffle, while there are echoes of Bob Mould’s power-pop sensibilities in the seriously catchy ‘I Refuse To Believe (You Could Love Me)’.
Elsewhere, the plaintive ‘Ones + Zeroes’ and ‘Perfume & Decay’ both feature gorgeous backing vocals from singer-songwriter Nadine Khouri, the latter’s insistent rhythm almost at odds with Murry’s deadpan delivery. The mournful slide guitar of ‘Di Kreutser Sonata’ showcases the singer’s inner demons, while there’s a near-unrecognisable take on ‘Ordinary World’, which mines the Duran Duran standard for every ounce of emotion.
Listen to the album below.