Hailing from Quebec, Andy Murphy plays his own style of country/folk on his recent release This Damn World. The songs mosey along at a slow pace but are absolutely enjoyable in their own way. Murphy’s songs are coated in melancholy but often sound like they are headed towards salvation. There is a sense of hope, tenacity and sometimes a carefree sensibility that Murphy instills in his music. The five tracks are also fun sing-alongs. It is easy to picture friends singing to these songs together with a pint in their hand.
The first track “You Be The Sunshine” starts with a lone banjo and Murphy's vocals. Bass and guitar enter into the mix as Murphy sings, “Down by the river where I do come from the cold keep me drunk and the girls keep me young.” As the song progresses it gets more hopeful by adding more vocal harmonies. It’s subtle but effective in exploring the emotional differences in the song.
“Damn World” is a little less serious than “You Be The Sunshine.” I thought the first song was a good one to sing along to with friends but this one is the winner. It is festive, loose and a pretty good time overall. “Mob Boss” is not only quite catchy but is engaging when it comes to lyrical content. Murphy goes on to tell a story about working for a mob boss and having to make a hit.
He closes with “Into My Bed,” which is the most upbeat song out of the album. It was a mighty appropriate way to end the album and leaves you with more energy than you start out with.
The first two tracks on this release are near perfection while the other three are still above average. Murphy has his own thing going for him and it didn’t take much to win me over after the first track. Recommended.
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