Róisín Murphy, songs against the narcissistic trend of pop

Change is a complex process that requires courage and opens the door to mistakes. An unsafe surface to step on with caution. The opposite of homologation. A paradigm according to which Róisín Murphy designed his entire stylistic code and which regularly feeds on experiments and metamorphoses. From the mid-1990s with the Molokos to this day, he has sworn loyalty to change, because you only get to know each other better through continuous change.

His discography proves this even before his exuberant changes of clothes. From the swing of ruby blue (2005) to nothing short of brilliant pop Overwhelmed (2007), from Electronics by Hairelss toy (2015) e Róisín machine (2020) to the dub and psychedelic melodies of the new album hit parade. Listening to his repertoire, one often feels like the victim of a sadistic card game, because Róisín Murphy does exactly that: to destabilize. But not from a spirit of rashness, nor to confuse the hearer by withholding fixed points. If anything, to save what she holds most dear – as a woman and as an artist: the freedom to like it or not.

He didn’t like a recent statement he shared in a Facebook comment: “Please don’t call me Terf, don’t keep using that word against women.” Please! But hormone blockers suck, and Big Pharma laughs about it and goes to the bank to cash it out. Confused children are vulnerable and need to be protected, that’s the truth.” The comment drew criticism from the LGBTQAI+ community and from associations like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, prompting the singer to release an apology post, but without any regrets for what she said. As if to ask: Judge me by my music and not by my opinions.

It’s funny that an artist like Róisín Murphy can be at the center of such a media frenzy, but in a society where the polarization of discussions radicalizes people beyond measure, anything can happen. If we are to judge the work here, we have to start from his last studio work, a very conscious recording, expression of a deep-seated need for authenticity, but also a mature container of disappointment with the politically correct (the following interview). was made before the controversy).

Each of your recordings is an independent project, different from the previous ones. how did it start hit parade?
One of the first songs to come to light was CooCool. It’s a slightly dated love song, a romantic and sentimental ballad inspired by the style of Frank Sinatra. It comes from a time of joy and the last two years of my career have been fulfilling because I have had the opportunity to do what I wanted. A variety of new music has presented itself to me, many different artists have knocked on my door asking me to sing on their productions. Isn’t it fantastic? I consider myself lucky and fortunate.

Is it maturity that gave you the awareness to be happy?
Living my 40s to the fullest, turning 50 in July, I still envision myself making music after what we’ve been through during the pandemic. In addition, the connection to my fans is more alive than ever: That makes me happy.

How will your fans react to this new album, which is once again different from all others?
You will be surprised at the discontinuity Róisín machine. However, the desire to keep amazing is not an exercise in itself, but springs from the need to keep pushing myself. With the path I have taken and considering the artist that I am, I will always try to move through multiple musical dimensions and numerous collaborations.

The titled single faders however, it speaks of a return to the origins and not of fluid progressions …
After so many years of round-the-world raids and artistic contamination, returning home was the best thing I could do to rediscover authenticity. When you spend a lifetime trying to bring out what’s inside you, you can finally see yourself for who you really are as a whole. I have decided to stop the video faders in Arklow, my hometown in Ireland, because I wanted to add an important element to the story: myself. Definitely twisted, edgy, crazy to some, but still authentic. Focusing on just a few moments in my career, the complexity may not be immediately apparent, but upon closer inspection the picture appears complete.

The impression is that today’s music looks too much at the past. So it doesn’t punish itself?
It has always been like this. The hits of the 80’s reminded me of the hits of the 60’s. Nostalgia is a leitmotif, but I don’t think that’s the biggest problem for music today. I think what happens in music is what happens in the world out there: we are overwhelmed by narcissists, filled with their voices. They’re all there and proudly showing their lives, and everyone tells what they did yesterday or what they will do tomorrow. There’s hype everywhere where opinions can become gimmicks: “These are my feelings”, “Hey look how powerful I am”, “You can’t fool me because I know what I want.” The soft voices, ASMR atmospheres and the whispers that appear here and there on the record mimic those of the narcissists that get on my nerves.

I’m assuming you don’t have a good relationship with social media…
I have a healthy relationship with social media. I prefer to express my courage in my work rather than expressing an opinion that becomes a statement. I’m not interested in selling nonsense, making arguments, taking political positions, just showing my heart. For me, Instagram, for example, is a notebook, a box from which I can derive ongoing projects and inspiration for work, be it images, photo shoots, films, locations. It’s a game, but when it’s not fun anymore, I quit.

Thanks to Instagram, you met the artist who created the album cover…
Yes, it’s an image created with artificial intelligence by artist Beth Frey, then enhanced with the graphic work of Bráulio Amado and creative studio Object & Animal. I felt particularly drawn to his work and this creative synergy emerged.

On the production front, however, Dj Koze is your right arm this time. What did you take away from his background?
For Stefan Kozalla, aka Dj Koze, hip hop is the main point of reference. In 1998 he contributed to the growth of the German scene with his band International Pony and I am thrilled that his vigor was able to shape my latest project. Hip hop is pure modernity, speaking the language of today and representing the most global sound there can be in terms of sales and storytelling.

What has always distinguished your experience as a musician is the strong connection with club culture. What has changed from the Molokos to today?
All. To be honest, I’m a little sad because there aren’t many nights left that I would like to attend. Promoters only strive for profit and the club system has become a gigantic machine: today you don’t have to be a real musician to make people dance, you just have to be ambitious. A few years ago, a DJ randomly asked me if he could use it time is now And sing it back to create new mixes. I replied, “Do you know that the recording of the vocals and acoustic elements of time is now Did it cost more than all that stuff you play with?” When I’m standing next to a DJ, I want to protect my music and not screw it up.

So you’re enigmatic, but also very direct when needed?
When I appear enigmatic, I can stand in front of large crowds and still shop alone at the supermarket. I’m not famous in any way. I never was Not even when sing it back it was a worldwide hit. Fame has never stopped me from enjoying a spa day with my kids. However, if I want to, I can feel famous for a night at a gay club. Fame was never a priority for me, I preferred to create something I don’t have to be ashamed of.

In the first verses of Róisín machine You said, “I feel like my story isn’t told yet.” Are you still reflected in that text?
Yes, at least that hasn’t changed. My story has yet to be told.

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