- RELEASE DATE /31 March 2023
- CATALOG /CRT120
- LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
- FORMAT /limited edition gold coloured vinly, black vinyl, digital
A FEW WORDS
Cheersquad Records & Tapes are thrilled to release the new album ‘Strange Ride’ by Murphnick – the artist formerly known as Nick Murphy. The album is available on limited edition gold vinyl (50 copies only), black vinyl and digital download. Pre-order is 10 February 2023, with the album being released on 31 March 2023.
Before releasing his debut solo album, ‘Breaking The Light’ in 2006, Nick Murphy had firmly established his reputation as a key founding member and songwriter for Melbourne pop psych outfit, The Anyones, who toured the US and Australia on the back of 2 highly acclaimed and internationally released albums with the likes of The Killers, The Vines, Jet, Sloan, Morrissey, The Music, Youth Group, Dallas Crane, You Am I, Even and more.
Nick released a 2nd record, ‘What’s In Your Mind?’ in 2011. Both records received wide critical acclaim, received lots of airplay on ABC community radio as well as TV shows such as Home & Away, Neighbours, and Tripping Over. Meanwhile, Nick’s solo bands toured the country with such local heroes as Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males, The Gin Club, Even, Ross McLennan and The New World Orchestra, Screamfeeder & 78 Saab. After releasing ‘What’s In Your Mind?’, Nick Murphy accepted a number of offers to be the hired gun in numerous Melbourne original, tribute and cover bands, helping out various buddies including Chris Altmann, Mia Dyson, Luke Sinclair, Ben Mason, Liz Stringer, Ross McLennan, Davey Lane, Ash Naylor and Suzannah Espie. Playing with this incredible range of musos at different times, Nick found himself straddling the sounds coming from both sides of the Atlantic, both Americana and English rock.
But in 2016, something happened that inadvertently stopped Nick in his tracks…
‘Fakin It’, the first single from ‘Strange Ride’ is based upon that true story, in which a more famous Melbourne singer-songwriter decided to change his stage name back to his real name, which happens to be Nick Murphy.
In the digital age, if an artist can’t be found via dominant search engines, they are lost, non-existent. Suddenly Nick was invisible to the world, seeing pictures of the other artist next to his own work, finding his name had been removed from a famous online music platform. Legal options were limited. Hence, Nick Murphy became Murphnick, and this story is the inspiration for ‘Fakin It’.
By 2017 Nick had a big swag of tunes demoed and ready to record and Marcel Borrack & Tim Harvey were the best team for the job. The initial drum sessions were completed in drummer, Al Barden’s basement, engineered by Marcel. Later sessions were recorded at Pow Wow, the studio run by Marcel and Tim.
After the intimate, singer-songwriter album ‘What’s In Your Mind?’ (reminiscent of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith) Nick’s role in these different amazing bands inspired him to get back to recording something that sounded like a rock band. Drifting back to listening to much more Americana music, Nick was writing songs heavily influenced by country rock, folk and soul. A second big batch of songs came from Nick’s love of more European sounds, as well as daydreamy cinematic soundscapes. After culling and selecting the best, the final collection of material was an eclectic group of tunes with a prevailing sound of psychedelia and the early ‘70s. The other theme which unites Nick’s material right from the beginning of his recording career is a love of melody and vocal harmonies, and ‘Strange Ride’ is no exception.
Nick’s lyrics in these songs tells stories of sad and desperate love, feelings of loss and abandonment on suburban trains and in bedrooms, espionage tales of disappearing friends who turned out to be someone completely unexpected, the tragic experience of loss of identity when someone colonises your name, as well as yearning for childhood dreams.
Whilst stamping his own distinctive sound upon the material, Nick’s tragic obsession with this early ‘70s era can be heard loud and clear throughout the album and lots of iconic references are apparent as he channels The Byrds, The Rolling Stones and Neil Young amongst others.
Incredible contributions from some of Melbourne’s finest musos must be acknowledged, adding textures and colour which have elevated the album to another level. These include cello by Clara Schutz, violin by Ewan Baker, piano by Stevie Hesketh, Chris Altmann and Marcel Borrack, bowed double bass by Ross McLennan, trumpet by Yianni Rowlands, alto sax by Gideon Brazil, and beautiful harmonies and backing vocals from Violet Kelly, Jeff Samin, Mandy Kerr, Ben Mason and Tim Harvey.
Praise for Nick Murphy:
“Nick Murphy is a talented man. He has recorded an album of stunning harmonic depth, divine orchestration and a gentle humanity.”- Toby Martin, Youth Group
“Such great singing and writing and playing. Shit, that’s not easy to do. Of course, it is easy for people to record and so many do, but not many have Nick’s talents.” – Dave Graney
“(Murphy) has the melodic and instrumental gifts to match his transistor radio dreams and a voice that is pure enough to sing multiple rings around them” – The Age