I’ve been a fan of John Murry since I saw him play here in Sydney and was taken by his wonderful 2013 album The Graceless Age. He’s certainly had his trials and tribulations and he ended up living in Ireland where he’s continued to work at his craft and periodically release new material. Now, in 2021, he has a new album (his third) called The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes coming out on June 26th on Submarine Cat Records and it’s apparently the result of a period of (relative) stability in Murry’s life.
Both of these singles find Murry settled into his bruised and baroque Americana sound. Rich with melancholy and warm inviting melodies, the songs run deep with humour and pathos, poetry and poetic observations. Musically he employs pedal steel and piano in the framework of the songs without ever pitching them in MOR singer-songwriter territory. In that sense there’s a sweet mix of acts like Lambchop and Sparklehorse intertwined in his sound.
The new album was recorded at Rockfield Studio near Monmouth in Wales early in 2020 and Murry found a real bond with producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels, Aldous Harding, This Is the Kit).
“John works instinctively and openly in the studio, and his songs are uncomfortably honest and revealing at times,” Parish says. “I think he encourages co-conspirators. He’s quick to identify & enlist whatever skills are in the room at any one time. I hope that I gave him the freedom to pursue outlandish ideas, and the confidence to know that someone was keeping track of them and would know how to fit the puzzle pieces together.”