Roisin Murphy Announces New Album Hairless Toys
Listen To 'Gone Fishing' On Pitchfork
Hairless Toys Out May 12th on Play It Again Sam
Pre-Order Hairless Toys Here
For once the PR cliches of "eager anticipation" and "welcome return" are not misplaced. The unmistakable Roisin Murphy returns with her new album Hairless Toys on May 12th.
Her first album in 8 years, Hairless Toys is a career defining tour de force. Tipping its hat to the dark disco of European house music, Casablanca Records and Grace Jones, while seamlessly taking in the freedom and organic spirit of jazz, country and gospel.
The rich, expansive production - by Roisin's long time musical collaborator Eddie Stevens - is full of inventive loops and unlikely hooks, a grand magical spell exemplified by album opener 'Gone Fishing'. A song inspired by the film Paris Is Burning, where originality, invention and celebration are escapes from the ugly realities of the world around us, a place where "The practice of realness, feels so surreal".
As Roisin explains – "This song was written after I watched the documentary film Paris Is Burning, having read an article which referenced it in a discussion about House music's origins in black, gay culture. I was deeply moved by this film. 'I had to run this far from home' - it's about the outcasts who could never fit into mainstream society and how they created a safe place in the drag 'Ball' scene of New York in the '80s. "Will we live on? The children of La Beija" refers to the 'house' of Pepper La Beija, who was one of the most notable figures on the scene, Pepper is also quoted in Malcolm McLaren's song on the same subject 'Deep In Vogue'. The culture was a flamboyant reaction to persecution and disillusionment, the imagination and bravery of these kids is simply awe-inspiring. I envisioned 'Gone Fishing' almost as a song from a Broadway musical version of this story. The making of one's own world, a safer world and the creation of a new, better family in music or youth culture is a theme I touch upon elsewhere on my album Hairless Toys."
Hairless Toys Tracklisting:
House Of Glass
Hairless Toys (Gotta Hurt)
The genesis of Hairless Toys lies in last year's Mi Senti EP. A release mainly of covers, all sung in Italian, a collaboration between Roisin, her partner Sebastiano Properzi, and Eddie Stevens. This "very adult-orientated Disco", channelling Edith Piaf through Studio 54, was a release that reminded us of a creative free spirit with a voice and direction unmistakably her own.
Recording Mi Senti had proved the time was right for a full length album with Eddie Stevens in the producer's chair. Stevens has been Musical Director for all Roisin's live work since 1997. She credits him with a kind of awakening "It's Eddie who made me feel that I could really own this job. He helped me come to terms with who I was and what I was doing up there on stage, and I kinda feel that it`s only out of our strange but perfect chemistry that I became a live performer at all".
The two spent five weeks last winter holed up in Eddie's studio, a session resulting in some thirty songs, eight of which were selected for Hairless Toys. Five intense yet liberating weeks of writing, Roisin zooming through the thinking / scribbling / singing / break / thinking / scribbling / singing / break routine for hour upon hour with Eddie adding more synths, some percussion, a bit of guitar, and editing on the fly.
According to Murphy the choice of which songs to put where was straightforward. "To select just eight songs from the vast batch written last year required some pretty vigorous editing. The record could have been much longer but this seemed like just the right combination, and in fact the sequencing fell into place with more ease than any other album I've made."
It begins with 'Gone Fishing' that chimes like the bells of a buoy bullied by tide, everything hanging from a two-note octave. The lyric written after watching Jennie Livingston`s 'Paris Is Burning', a study of race, class, gender and sexuality in America
Elsewhere 'Evil Eyes', 'Exploitation' and 'House of Glass' provide the extended shake-outs essential to any of Roisin's albums, while 'Exile' and 'Unputdownable' hide huge country soul hooks amidst their inventive structures.
Sonically adventurous, Hairless Toys, embraces a broad palette of genres yet is consistently engaging and thrilling throughout. An exceptional return from an outstanding artist.
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