major murphy – “strangers”

– featured image courtesy of daniel topete – 

many folks have spent much of the past month bearing witness to an unconscionable, morally bankrupt administrative decision that mandated the separation of families seeking asylum in the united states who cross the border illegally.  as international outcry has surged, renewed scrutiny has been placed on the country’s immigration policies and practices at the southern border in general, especially the role of ICE in enforcing those decisions.

as they so often do during times of cultural upheaval, everyday human beings are identifying organizations committed to curtailing and/or abolishing these policies and are supporting them financially.  three of these everyday human beings include the members of major murphy, the grand rapids outfit who released their excellent debut album, no. 1, earlier this year.  the trio have released a cover of the kinks’ “strangers,” a track they have interpreted as showing solidarity with marginalized groups of people; all proceeds from the release will go to fianza fund, an organization that provides financial relief to migrants detained at the border.

learn more about fianza fund and their mission by clicking the link above; listen to and download major murphy’s take on “strangers” below.

major murphy – “one day”

– featured image courtesy of michael newsted – 

grand rapids trio major murphy are gearing up to release their debut full-length at the end of next month.  the three-piece traffics in a brand of soft rock imbued with the warmth of yesteryear’s am radio compounded by jacob bullard’s harmonic interplay with jackie warren, and all components are on full display throughout their latest single, “one day.”

brassy synth pads envelop bell-like guitar up-strokes and a steady back-beat from the track’s outset, the resulting vessel cooly cruising down a sonic highway before bullard’s lead vocal merges seamlessly into the texture.  the end result is a slightly hazy, understated slice of comfort food, a perfect primer for those just discovering the wonder of major murphy.

no. 1 is out march 30th via winspear.  listen to “one day” below.

major murphy – “no. 1”

– featured image courtesy of daniel topete –

grand rapids trio major murphy allowed a glimpse of their then-untitled debut album a couple of months ago with “mary,” a plaintive nostalgic trip through the radio dial of yesteryear.  as 2018 has settled in, the band has begun to further detail said debut album; no. 1 will arrive march 30th via winspear, and its title track has arrived today.

“no. 1” again finds major murphy examining the sheen of 1970s soft rock through their own contemporary lens, the effortless harmonies of jacob bullard and jacki warren swaddling the track.  peer underneath that warm veneer, however, and one will find lyrics dotted with existential crisis, moments of harmonic dissonance, and a fuzzed-out bass line that all work collectively to create an impeccable, dichotomous entity.

listen to “no. 1” below.

major murphy – “mary”

– featured image courtesy of the artist – 

for major murphy, the closest analogue to a coast would be the banks of lake michigan, but the grand rapids trio have long dwelt in an auditory enclave decidedly less chilly than the midwest.  as this year draws to a close and they start looking towards the next, the band has shared a sampling of things to come in 2018.

“mary” begins with plaintive keyboard chords before a full-band arrangement kicks in, crackling as if coming across via transistor radio.  the groove is well-defined and the atmosphere decidedly nostalgic as jacob bullard and jacki warren gently harmonize with each other, traversing through a narrative before arriving at an impossibly tender coda, driven by the contours of bullard’s guitar solo.

“mary” is out now via winspear.  get swept away below.

dear tracks – “aligning with the sun”

– featured image courtesy of the artist –

matt messore marked the end of his tenure in you blew it! with a cross-country move and a new sonic direction.  now headquartered in grand rapids, michigan, messore assembled key personnel, among them steady collaborator victoria ovenden, and began recording dreamy, jangly pop songs as dear tracks.  after turning in their promising debut ep, soft dreams, at the start of the year, messore and ovenden are now armed with a brand-new single as they look ahead to a handful of fall tour dates.

on “aligning with the sun,” dear tracks intertwine a pair of guitar leads that dance effortlessly through watery textures, while pausing occasionally to drone alongside messore’s blissed-out lead vocal.  it’s a perfectly sun-bleached endeavor, a track that lends itself well to the waning hours of summer.

“aligning with the sun” is out now as a limited-edition lathe-cut single via the native sound.  listen in below.

 

dear tracks – “soft dreams”

photo4u
photo courtesy of the artist

grand rapids indie poppers dear tracks are set to release a new ep, soft dreams, on february 26th via furious hooves and track and field records.  the title track of the quartet’s forthcoming effort is also a fitting finale, with aqueous guitar textures trickling through a hazy, c86-indebted soundscape that serves as a beautiful composite of dear tracks’ lush aesthetic.  with dreamy vocals that sit just right in the mix, it’s hard not to get lost in this one.  take a listen to “soft dreams” below.