Video: John Murry “Ones + Zeros”

John Murry / H Studios / Bristol / Shot by Rob Blackham / www.blackhamimages.com

Here is another outstanding release from one of the most distinctive singer-songwriters around today.  A gorgeous, weary melody hangs on a strong, simple, foot-tapping beat as we are invited to share in Murry’s melancholic introspection once more.  His lyrics, covering loss and the joy to be found in solitude amongst other ranging themes, form a poetic, personal world to lose yourself in.  The voices of Murry and Nadine Khouri swirl around one another, harmonising, blending, echoing, like twisting thoughts in Murry’s meditation.

Murry reflects on the song-writing process for the new single: Sometimes songs almost write themselves; ‘Ones + Zeros’ being one of those that did just that, albeit in fits and false starts, and over two recording sessions.  It was something I wrote very quickly one afternoon many moons ago and recorded the following day as a sketch, or demo, with Tim Mooney of American Music Club. It would prove to be the last thing we recorded together. Tim passed away suddenly only a few days after, and ‘The Graceless Age’ was released a couple of weeks later. I ended the sketch I’d ‘drawn’ before we recorded it at the studio the next day with the line, ‘I stare at the ceiling while they fall asleep, I wish I was dead, you wish it weren’t me… lying still: learn to love or don’t.’

I didn’t know where to leave it as a song after Tim died, so I tried to shelve the thing permanently. One day, while filming our upcoming documentary film, director and friend Sarah Share filmed me at The Watergate Theatre in my then adopted hometown of Kilkenny, Ireland. She asked me to play a melody on the Steinway grand piano there, and for whatever reason, this song was the first thing to come to mind, and – without singing any of the lyrics – I played it while they filmed and recorded… maybe because it is simple, and intentionally so, even necessarily so. Immediately after filming it, Sarah asked me what that melody was. I told her, and she brought it up and couple more times in the following days while filming at other locations. That was the permission I needed to take it seriously, as a melodic and lyrical impulse.

I took it to the sessions at Rockfield with John Parish as it was. We began recording it and, because I wanted to see what would happen if I chose to write in this way. Sometimes ya just get lucky, gotta trust the creating and not the thing you think you intend to create, because that’s often when magic happens. This felt like that. I could tell immediately that Sarah Share and John Parish and Rick Vargas and Joe Jones dug it, too…. the song and I felt incredibly alive, meeting one another again there, seeing how things had changed over the years, and how things hadn’t; realising nothing is within our control, that we are just kinda dancing with time itself, hoping to find the same groove but different needles.”

‘Ones + Zeros’ is the second single from the forthcoming album ‘The Stars Are God’s Bullet Holes’, produced by John Parish, who describes the experience of working with Murry: “John is a unique character, as you’ll know if you’ve spent five minutes with him. He is interested and distracted by everything, which makes him both a fascinating and frustrating person to work with. On many occasions the hardest part of my job was to identify the moment when all that was to be said about an idea had been said and it was now time to play the damn thing. John can keep a pretty riveting stream of consciousness going for as long as you’ve got.”  Murry’s output certainly is riveting.  Check this out and get excited about the new album.

About Andrew Frolish 644 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Ferris & Sylvester, John Smith, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...

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