Róisín Murphy’s Hairless Toys – What You Need To Know
The one-time Moloko singer releases her first solo album for eight years next week. Here’s everything you need to know about it…
What’s The Background?
In just about every interview she’s done ahead of the release of this record, Murphy has been keen to downplay the massive gap between this and her 2007 album Overpowered. There’s been no spell in a Buddhist monastery, she’s just taken her time and let her new music come naturally.
She has filled the years in between with collaborations. She worked with production duo Crookers, Dutch DJ Mason, legendary house mixer David Morales as well as helping Fatboy Slim and David Byrne out on their joint album.
Another reason for the delay in getting new material out has been label troubles, Murphy’s last album Overpowered came out on EMI, a label that obviously no long exists. Now signed with PIAS, Murphy is at last ready to release her third album as a solo artist.
What Does It Sound Like?
This is a very different beast to 2007’s Overpowered, which was a sleek pop album influenced by classic 70s disco. There are only eight tracks, all bar one of them are over five minutes long, three are over six minutes long and one clocks in at over nine minutes.
Murphy has opened up about the influence that Jennie Livingston's classic documentary on New York’s drag scene Paris Is Burning had on the album, speaking about the alienation and the pain that she felt in a scene that radiated such joy. You can hear that in the lyrics, which are very stark and at times quite pointed. There’s exploitation, betrayal and plenty of darkness.
Who’s Produced The Thing?
Whereas Overpowered featured a cast of big names including Richard X and Dan Carey, this time Murphy has kept things steady with Eddie Stevens, a member of her backing band. His production is understated, keeping the layers minimal and Murphy’s vocals and words kept front and centre.
Does It Deliver?
This album is much more of a grower than Murphy’s earlier solo stuff, the songs are longer, the lyrics are starker and it will take a few more listens to break into, but that shouldn’t put anybody off. This is the kind of album that will sit on stereos for months, offering you more and more every time you stick it on.
Róisín Murphy’s new album Hairless Toys is released on Monday (May 11th). You can pre-order the album in store now.