“If you think of them as two children then Hairless Toys is the nicer one, Monto has got more character…” - hmv.com talks to Róisín Murphy
We waited eight years for former Moloko singer Róisín Murphy to release the follow-up to her 2007 LP Overpowered and now we’re about to be treated to her second album in successive years.
The singer’s new album Take Her Up To Monto is out now in hmv stores and we called her up to have a chat about the making of it...
When did you know that you were going to make a second album quite so quickly?
“Really early on, as soon as the first week on Hairless Toys, as early as that I knew we were going to do two records. We started with no clue what we were doing, I’d set aside five weeks for recording and I knew that's what I had, but as soon as we got started the writing was so prolific we decided to discuss the possibility of two records.”
“In that block of time we got the first record done and a little bit more. I’d actually wanted Hairless Toys (Murphy’s 2015 solo album) to have more than eight songs, but it all fitted so perfectly and I knew there were songs to come back for.”
How did you know which songs would end up on which album?
“If you think of them as two children then Hairless Toys is the nicer one, Monto has got more character, she’s more pointy, she’s got more extremes, the arrangements are more complicated and there are way more twists and turns. When it’s pop, it’s very pop and when they’re weird they’re very weird. Songs are like people; you approach the more complicated ones with caution, but they’re usually the most rewarding people once you get to know them.”
So was it all done and ready to go or did you have more work to do?
“We came back to these raw demos after we toured Hairless Toys, a couple of them were already finished and we went back re-worked them. There was still plenty to do to get this one finished.”
You worked with Eddie Stevens (live guitarist with Moloko and Murphy’s songwriting partner throughout her solo career) again, what’s so special about your relationship?
“I’ve known him for 20 years and you can hear how well we know each other in the music, we’ve shared stages together all over the world and had our greatest musical triumphs together, you can hear all that in the music.”
Can you sum up the album lyrically?
“It’s a more personal record than Hairless Toys, that record was more nostalgic in how it was looking at how music and alternative culture had supported me and how I got started making music and all those wonderful friends. This is more intense.”
In what way more intense?
“Well it’s much more about my relationships, my boyfriend could not be happier, even when it’s negative stuff he’s happy, he keeps saying ‘That’s about me’ and ‘She might be calling me a b***ard, but it’s about me!’.”
Did you feel more confident going into this album after being away for so long before Hairless Toys?
“Definitely. We were in the dark with Hairless Toys a bit, but this time we really felt like we were on a roll. I’d been out performing so I felt fitter and in that mode. I’d been spending a lot of time on stage that’s really my natural habitat, so I went in with way more confidence.”
Finally you’ve got a few festivals booked for the summer, will you be playing much of the album?
“I don’t think we’ll do that much at the festivals, it’s just coming out in festival season, playing festivals is not the time to go and educate people, it’ll just be a couple of tracks. Hopefully we’ll be playing more of it in the winter.”