Markus Murphy is truly a jack of all trades. As a musician, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, he leads a band of musicians in the jazz-loving hotbed that is Montréal, Canada. Last month, the band released ‘Already Blue’, and it’s honestly one of the freshest, most imaginative, and most interesting sounding tunes that we at Indie Top 39 have heard in a while! The track features rich and intricate horn and string arrangements, Rhodes keys, a killer rhythm section, and the heartfelt vocals of the man himself, Markus Murphy.
Heavily inspired by big guns like Brian Wilson, Marvin Gaye, and Roy Orbison, Murphy also turns to more modern acts like Tame Impala, The Strokes, and Durand Jones and the Indications to perfect his signature, distinctive, and incredibly unique soundscape. We feel rather privileged to have stumbled upon Markus Murphy and his band, and can’t wait to hear what he gets up to next!
‘Already Blue’ is, hands down, one of the most interesting and unique tunes we’ve heard this year! We can’t get enough of it! INDIE TOP 39
What does the song mean to you?
A lot of great soul songs have a dichotomy between upbeat music and painful lyrical stories. I can attest that this just happens naturally sometimes, as is the case with ‘Already Blue’. This song started off as an instrumental I was playing around with, and I remember showing my demo to Josh, the keys player, and he was really stoked about its potential. We especially thought there was so much room in the outro to work that groove. The lyrics must have emerged subconsciously.
I think that first line, “I want you to know now that I was your fool” just came out one day, with melody and rhythm in place. I realized that I now have a story to tell with this line. Why did that one emerge from my mind? At the time I had gone through a rough breakup with a girl who dropped me like a rock out of nowhere. Things had been going great and then suddenly, it was all over. I couldn’t fix this, she had ‘already spoken’, and that was it. I crafted the rest of the lyrics based on my story with this relationship.
Tell us about your creative process and how the song came to be?
Josh and I set about finding our drummer and bassist, eventually hitting the jackpot with Ethan and John. They grabbed onto this track right away and just crushed it, and its not an easy one for them to play. When it came time to record, I decided that we should give a ton of room for the outro and really just groove it for a while, let the dynamic build, and take these players I had assembled onto the proverbial autobahn. In the studio we truly let it rip. I think that outro groove jammed on for like 5 minutes before we stopped recording.
We then found Evan Shay (sax) and Scott Bevins (trumpet). These guys are phenomenal, they completely nailed it and Evan laid down a really hot sax solo towards the end. Then we got our violin arrangement in place and found Tomo Newtown to play it. Those strings really added a massive dimension to the song. I wasn’t sure if it needed them but once she played I knew it was an irreplaceable part of the song.
What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months with your music?
There is a lot of Markus Murphy music being produced right now. The first album is almost done, ‘Already Blue’ being the second single. There will be at least three more single releases from this album before the whole thing drops in the fall. There is also a second album that has begun recording, just ‘rhythm tracks’ for now, live off-the-floor. And finally, there is a third concept being written and planned. So expect a lot of strong, unique tracks with their own art and story coming up in the next 12 months.
This coverage was created in collaboration with Musosoup as part of the #SustainableCurator movement.