Michael Robert Murphy hits the distinct vein of mystical Mersey melody with his latest single, Puzzles, a woozy, sultry psych-sundowner. The prolific singer-songwriter, formerly lead singer with jet-setting, acid-folk-rock five-piece The Wicked Whispers, joins up with The Coral’s James Skelly, who guests on the track and takes the reins as producer.
Nothing is taken for granted or gifted growing up in Liverpool, a city of deep and meaningful record collections and dreams of both hitting the stage at Wembley and scoring an extra-time winner there. Murphy’s boots went and remain unlaced as his childhood dreams, coloured by a soundtrack of John Lennon, Love and The Rolling Stones, unfurled into recurring, musical adventures. Each note of Puzzles, like the four-tracks on his 2020 Metamorph EP that went before, ring out from the same place, a pure, eternally-youthful love of timeless riffs and life-affirming harmony.
Growing up isn’t easy and for Murphy, Puzzles is the tonic to tiring times of adult pain that have rushed unexpectedly towards him. The guitar as medicine and the recording process as therapy, Murphy’s music has been the key to remaining forever optimistic. Forever young.
He says: “This body of work has been the product of raw emotion, love and fear. For a time, after The Wicked Whispers, I wasn’t doing music and I wasn’t happy, so I needed to get right back into it. The first EP was honest, the most honest thing I’ve ever done. Puzzles is one further step forward, bringing James Skelly in, who really gave the track an edge with some amazing hooks.”
Long-time acquaintances for almost two-decades, this is the first time that Skelly and Murphy have come together in the studio. Recorded at the legendary Parr Street Studios, Liverpool and engineered by Chris Taylor (Blossoms, The Courteeners, The Lathums), the track found the pair honing in on Michael’s psychedelic roots, yet struck out for exciting new territory with the recurring, minimal guitar riff and gently warping the edges with mid-century vocal effects. The outcome is the bastard child of Flaming Lips and Brian Jones Town Massacre, with a love song trapped square in the middle.
Puzzles is released Thu 15 April 2021 on all digital platforms and coincides with the announcement of rescheduled live dates for 2021. With more to follow, Murphy looks ahead to playing Liverpool, The Arts Club Loft on Friday 26th Nov 2021.
Michael will also be performing at Liverpool Sound City 2021 in October.
For future release information and tour announcements, connect with Michael online at: