Roisin MurphyIn electronic, Pop
Róisín Murphy released her new album ‘Take Her Up To Monto’ released on July 8th, 2017 on Play It Again Sam.
Continuing the process of re-emergence that began with 2014’s Mi Senti EP and 2015’s critically acclaimed, Mercury Prize nominated album ‘Hairless Toys’, ‘Take Her Up To Monto’ is an album which crackles with wild invention.
If ‘Mi Senti’ EP was a “love letter” to Murphy’s creative life, then the sessions that followed were a full-blown symphony. Five intensive weeks working alongside long term musical collaborator Eddie Stevens resulted in enough material for two albums. ‘Hairless Toys’ served to ease her audience into this new phase of Murphy’s career, before hitting them full force with ‘Take Her Up To Monto’
Flights of disco fancy, dark cabaret, the sonorities of classic house and electronica, the joy and heartbreak of pure pop, torch song drama, ‘Take Up Her To Monto’ has everything Murphy’s always done – but seen afresh. Made into new, strange shapes. The title originates from an Irish folk song, popularised by The Dubliners and sung to Róisín by her father – “It’s me and my rhythm. It’s very simple, really – but very complicated.”
Murphy and Stevens left some of the remaining songs almost as they’d initially demoed them, and radically reworked others as the character of the album became clearer. Like ‘Mastermind’, the breathless disco epic that opens ‘Take Her…’, which got a boost in scope from Murphy’s rekindled love of kicking out the jams and the high drama of live performance thanks to touring ‘…Toys.’
Elsewhere the hook laden ‘Ten Miles High’ and ‘Romantic Comedy’ sit alongside some of her most architecturally magnificent song structures yet.
‘Take Her..’ also cements the new role Murphy inhabits as an artist: she became a film-maker. ‘…Toys’ lead single ‘Exploitation’ was her directorial debut, and from there, she has gone through “a hell of a steep learning curve” making films for each single that follows.
“Each video was a study-fest,” she says, “each one was about me watching the greats, copying how they set each shot up, it was truly like going to film school. Looking back at Hairless Toys I see all sorts retrospectively, but it feels like the aesthetic was frozen time of no-time – was it in the eighties? Nineties? Seventies? Some lost place in the memory of my generation?”
For ‘Take Her…’ the visual language has changed. “Less reference, a more aggressively modern aesthetic,’ asserts Murphy “ It’s about the London that I live in, it’s a lot about architecture, it’s about building and the future coming, its about here! It’s a bit fizzier and more present tense, irreverent, with guerilla filming, montage and crazy shit. I hope it’s a realism that makes you feel good about being alive.”
Murphy has never been an artist to stand still, and every record she’s ever made has been a creative year zero in some sense – but even by these standards, this is a record overflowing with possibility. “Here I am,” it says, simple as you like, yet complicated enough to spend lifetimes decoding. “Here I am.”