What You Need To Know - September 24, 2020

Róisín Murphy's Róisín Machine: What You Need To Know
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Róisín Murphy's Róisín Machine: What You Need To Know

Best known to most as the voice of dancefloor-filling hits such as 'Sing It Back' and 'The Time Is Now', former Moloko singer Róisín Murphy has released four albums under her own name since the duo split in the mid-2000s, the most of recent of which being 2016's Take Her Up To Monto.

This week she returns with her fifth solo LP, the sort-of-eponymous Róisín Machine, which makes its arrival in stores today. Here's everything you need to know...

 

A little background...

After the release of her fourth album, which was followed by a string of live dates in Europe and North America, Murphy began collaborating with pioneering house producer Maurice Fulton, with the pair creating and releasing a series of four 12” discs containing eight original tracks, with Murphy creating videos for each of the four A-side releases.

The first new track from her new solo album arrived in March this year in the form of lead-of single 'Murphy's Law', which was followed by a series of live-streamed performances during the pandemic lockdown – each of which has since been released as series of six short films. The announcement of the new album's title and release date followed in July this year.

 

Who's producing it?

The album is co-produced by Murphy herself and Sheffield-based producer Richard Barratt, AKA Crooked Man / DJ Parrott, whose previous musical ventures also include The All Seeing I and Tricky Disco, among many others.

 

Any special guests?

Not on the album itself, although there have been various remixes of the album's tracks by the likes of Soulwax released over recent weeks and months.

 

What does it sound like?

Murphy and Barratt's collaboration has produced an album heavily influenced by disco house, with flashes of funky Chic-esque grooves and string flourishes on tracks like 'Narcissus', while Murphy's pop sensibilities and knack for an earworm of a melody are still evident on standout tracks such as 'Murphy's Law' and 'Something More'.

That's not to say the album is a homage to disco, though – far from it. Deep cut 'Kingdom of Ends' is perhaps the album's keystone, an intense, swirling track based around a minimal synth bassline that seems to build and build to a drop that never arrives, but feels like a rush nonetheless. You can well imagine this one going down a storm at clubs and festivals alike.

 

Does it deliver?

Not for the first time, when listening to Róisín Machine, we found ourselves wondering why Murphy isn't far more famous than she is. Perhaps her eccentric approach to lyrics and performance are too intense or intimidating for some, but Murphy has outlasted many of her peers for a reason and continues to be one of the most inventive female artists working in the dance music genre. If the album turns out to be a huge success, it'll be one that's well deserved, and maybe more than a little bit overdue.

 

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