Simon Murphy – Death of a Singer Songwriter
‘Death of a Singer Songwriter’ is the handiwork of Simon Murphy after 6 months of craftsmanship, heart and soul. This certainly flows through the EP throughout so it’s no wonder BBC Radio Ulster have given him airtime.
‘The Actress’ breaks us in gently to the EP with what already seems a fitting line to the title “I was no one once, now I’m someone else” sung a cappella. This line sets a precedence for the rest of the song as the guitar and harmonica roll in. The song is a narration of a woman with many faces and personas and its effect on a relationship. Despite the seemingly negative plotline, the tempo is upbeat making listening to the song a pleasurable experience, encouraging us to stay tuned to the EP.
‘Georgia Bell’ ditches the previously heard harmonica in favour of a lap steel guitar instantly transitioning the EP into a more country tone. “Among the hipsters and the tastemakers, she makes her own scene” gives the impression that the subject is someone unique and alternative in her own style. One of the most poignant lines in the song, “You’re sitting pretty but you’re running scared. You’re living but you’re not alive” makes it relatable as in life a lot of us are internally escaping our fears yet trying to find an alternative. Overall, the song maintains the buoyant tone yet this is challenged again with a melancholy story.
The penultimate track, ‘One Note Argument’, definitely feels a lot more vigorous, delving straight in with the guitar and powerful double bass. Simon’s vocals accompany his lyrics in connoting passion, heartfelt meaning and belief. He sings it with a sense of conviction and as his voice reaches a crescendo at the end, his point is made clear to the listener.
‘Home’ rounds off ‘Death of a Singer Songwriter’ quite nicely. The melody feels soothing yet tells a story of searching for that one true place to find comfort, again provoking an empathetic response from the listener. This is perhaps helped by the use of local dialect in the line “it’s alright ma. I’ll find my home”. The pace is slightly slower than what we’ve previously heard and this sits nicely with the lyrics. The fiddle solo adds more depth to the song as if it was strategically placed there to allow reflection time.
Overall, a solid piece of work from Simon Murphy, showing his ability to relate to his audience and warm the soul armed with a guitar and experienced words.