It’s not easy to hold an unclouded mirror up to the world. The temptation to fog up truths or angle them in ways that are less painful is nigh irresistible. To look at things as they are requires a brave heart and sturdy constitution. To then stir that honest stuff into songs that communicate successfully to others is rarer still. This is what Oakland, CA-based singer-songwriter John Murry does with clear-eyed, unsentimental efficiency. Cut from the same cloth as Elliott Smith, Lou Reed, Jeff Tweedy and Darkness On The Edge of Town-era Springsteen, Murry faces what he sees in the glass unflinchingly and then turns the mirror on us in ways that allow one to see their own reflection in sharper focus.
Murry’s new EP, Califorlornia, continues his evolution, showing off more modern rock curves and building on the buzzing, very alive production direction he embarked on with the late Tim Mooney (American Music Club) on his last album, The Graceless Age. Califorlornia features two songs co-written with longtime fellow traveler Chuck Prophet (Green On Red), a cover of Warren Zevon’s “Genius,” and a tribute to Mooney called “Timmy”.
A Tupelo, Mississippi native, Murry brings some of the literary heft of his second cousin, William Faulkner, to his music but there’s no mistaking that he’s up to rock & roll business. His sound howling with electricity, distortion, and ornery, primal growl, the rabblerousing spirit of the MC5 and Patti Smith are breathing anew through Murry on both of these introspective records.
“Intensely beautiful… Like Father John Misty, Mark Lanegan and Josh T Pearson rolled into one really broken dream.” —Q Magazine (* * * *)
“A seamless mix of inspiration and originality.” —Paste
Genre: Alt Rock, Americana, Singer-songwriter
Master: Rock Steady o/b/o Evangeline Records
01. Glass Slipper
02. Golden State
03. Genius (Cover)
01. The Ballad Of The Pajama Kid
03. Little Colored Balloons
05. Things We Lost In The Fire
06. ¿No Te Da Ganas De Reir, Sènor Malverde?
07. Southern Sky
08. If I’m To Blame
09. Penny Nails
10. Thorntree In The Garden
01. California (Alternative Version)
02. I Need You
03. It Ain’t Alright
04. Porch Light
05. Weighted Down
06. Yr Lil Sister