The Wicked Whispers’ singer-songwriter Michael Robert Murphy explores two beginnings over 10 years apart on a very special collaboration with AV8 Records for ‘Metamorph’ -Redux. A rare collectable EP and rarities release. Pre-Order it here.
Michael’s journey since going solo has been an intriguing organic trip, walking us through the many dimensions of his songwriting and quickly proving he is much more than the frontman and singer-songwriter of once Liverpool Psych Rockers The Wicked Whispers.
His first drop was a debut EP called ‘Metamorph’ originally released in 2020 (Featuring the highly contagious ‘Out Of Sight’) which stripped his songs down to a very honest and humble core, shining the light clearly onto the songwriting rather than the genre. “Metamorph was an idea of me changing, not only by getting older but musically, understanding It was ok to feel comfortable in my own skin as well as going from someone who has always been in bands and now going it alone” Michael recalls.
The EP and its singles which also included the touching ‘Dry Those Tears’ resonated with people especially when Lockdown restrictions had people struggling with their mental health offering a sentiment of hope and positivity during darker times. The EP gained critical and fanbase praise as well as love from his peers, however there was something massively missing according to Murphy “ My only regret was I didn’t release this on vinyl the first time on release”. Something now being put right by the cult label AV8 Records, who has also released and supported releases by The Coral’s Nick Power on his solo album Caravan and Michael Robert Murphy’s 2 single project with The Coral’s James Skelly producing and featuring ‘Puzzles / ‘Holding On’ released in 2021.
However, exploring a Vinyl Edition of Metamorph had to have something more and offer a unique narrative. After thinking on some suggestions something incredible happened out the blue “Back In 2013, in tragic fashion, I woke up one morning, got out of bed and stood on my laptop and I lost tonnes of demo’s and works that I thought id never hear again” Michael explains, “10 years later Toby [Wicked Whispers band mate and friend) was going through some boxes and found the motherload of demos he’s collected from me years earlier, and he sent a bunch of tracks over to me. I was overwhelmed hearing these hugely Imperfect, rough cut demo’s back. These demo’s were part of the a period ahead of Michael forming Liverpool band The Wicked Whispers, some tracks made it to the band and others didn’t” The creation and recording of these songs during this period (2010-2013) was an exciting period for Michael, laying down so many songs and ideas, a lot of which became the essence of The Wicked Whispers.
In addition, around this period, some great times were had living on the mersey dockland. Michael had a Farfisa organ in one corner, a Mapex drum kit in the other and a variety of vintage and modern amps, guitars, mics and percussion instruments laying around. Every day he would just go in and start writing and recording at his leisure. The songs that made it to the band were eventually re-recorded in studio’s with the lads and released. Some were great but some lost their magic a bit he thought. (‘Dandelion Eyes’ is a case in point). Others never made it to the band because they didn’t feel right or some didn’t work out too well during rehearsals (Like Silver Bullet and Bad Apples). Every new demo however he popped onto a CD and passed it to Toby Virgo. Getting Tashas (His wife and muse) and the band’s feedback was always a part of the process.
“In hindsight listening back to these rough cuts, some of the songs are actually crazy, well outside my usual comfort zone and me freely trying new things. Others are blatantly psychedelic and recorded with my tongue firmly in my cheek, ‘Perfumed Garden’ was the result of me taking the piss out of myself and vibing off The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour one night”.
For Michael and AV8 Records, it was decided it was a wonderful story and perfect timing from Toby finding these demo’s, to put a selection, mastered in their imperfect state, onto the second side of the Metamorph – Redux vinyl under the title ‘Lost in Time (Vaults Volume I)’. “I’ve selected 6 songs for now which I’m really enjoying listening back to. I hope anyone who listens to these enjoys them and maybe can feel some of the magic from this era…” Michael Robert Murphy is currently recording his debut album in Raby Cottage, The Wirral with By The Sea’s Liam Power producing, dropping 2024. Metamorph – Redux is released October 13th 2023 on AV8 Records on Limited to 125 copies.
‘Metamorph’ -Redux can be pre-ordered via the following link
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