Surnames started in 2019 and is led by Liam Anastasia-Murphy. These Days is his first release and contains six songs. The vibe here is often smooth yet funky and warm but hopeful and just flat out enjoyable.
I really gravitated towards these vocals right away. Anastasia-Murphy has an inviting voice. It’s free of pretense and I often can find several shades of emotion in one lyric. The first song is “Bloom” which begins with this subdued jazzy funk. It’s a groove that you just bob your head and snap your fingers to. The song does in fact bloom and gets more and more lush. You are greeted with more, vocal harmonies and instrumentation which leads to bluesy guitar solo.
Up next is “Can't Take It With You” which is continuous with this jazzy and serene subdued funk. It’s as smooth as velvet. There are some great transitions and lyrics. The lyrics are deep and refer to death but the delivery is full of levity. He sings, “But you can’t take it with you / The house the car the ring / You can’t take it with you / Not much of anything.”
“Horse Is Sold” is another success with a similar foundation. You can just close your eyes and really feel comfortable and relaxed. There is a spoken word section which is psychedelic sounding and very unique. The lyrics are very original. He avoids tropes and cliches with lines like “Don’t bare those teeth / Put your fangs away / We can all still eat.”
I didn’t think the song could get any more chill and then I heard “Cut Through” which is the arguable highlight. There are so many cool things happening on this song. The chill intro leads to some dynamic sections. I thought the songs sounded very soulful, even gospel on this song.
Up next is “California” which is joyful and hopeful sounding but it does so in a way where it’s not overblown. It feels like you have a little more mojo in your walk. The song pours warmth in every direction making it feel like another highlight. Last up is the dreamy and lush “To Wolves” which starts very subtly and leads to the most epic sounding section on the whole release.
This is hands down one of the best releases I’ve heard this year. The production, tone, songwriting and delivery is all there and combines to make a seamless listening experience. I hope you’re listening already. Highly recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook