Let It Be
Folk Goes POP!
I’ve been raving about the wealth of talented singer-songwriters bursting out of Northern Ireland for 5 or 6 years now; and here’s yet another one who has unlimited talent in every word and note.
Simon Murphy first crossed my radar when a friend told me about an EP he released in 2014; but I never got hold of a copy at the time.
Now he’s releasing his debut album and I feel a fool for not buying that earlier disc.
Murphy has a crystal clear voice, edged with a slightly rough edged Northern Irish accent; which I think is charming and suits his stories/songs perfectly.
The album opens with a poptastic Folk song that offers a nod in the direction of Northern Ireland’s premier singer-songwriter Van Morrison (happy Van, NOT grumpy Van!). I would have been more than happy to hear a whole album like this; but Murphy slides up and down the musical genres with consummate ease.
I absolutely love I Have a Voice from the thumping bass drum through the effervescent Kaz Hawkins powerful co-lead vocals and the sentiment in the lyrics isn’t too shabby either.
Murphy’s sense of humour comes through on a couple of songs – his ode to Hipsters, The Life of Brian’s Son has a really catchy tune and will certainly become a live favourite. This is followed by I Smell a Rat, which has a big old sound to it; and a foot tapping chorus too.
Perhaps it struck a chord with me; as it will with many married men; The Idiot is one of those songs that will pass many people by. But those who ‘get it’ will keep it tucked away until those times when you need to know ‘it isn’t just you’ and then play it on heavy rotation.
It took me a while to realise it but the love song Meet Me On The Other Side; about death bringing a love affair to a slow lingering death could be described as Everly Brothers Noir as the subject matter is quite dark but with a jaunty tune and tight harmonies.
For some reason this generation of songwriters generally avoids politics in their work. A couple of songs here can be interpreted in several ways if you are that way inclined. That last song is a case in point as you’re never sure if the ‘other side’ also refers to the lover’s religions – perhaps that’s just me.
My favourite song here; and a very brave one is Not in My Name. An expression used to attack Religious Radicals of all persuasions becomes a rallying cry for the silent majority of all creeds and colours and should be played on the hour, every hour on National radio across the world.
In most regions or even countries Simon Murphy would be raised shoulder high for this album; but at the moment he is jut another excellent singer-songwriter being churned out on that Northern Ireland conveyor belt.
Released September 4th 2015