20 Watts

Normally Outrageous: Roison Murphy by 20watts
April 15, 2008, 2:38 am
Filed under: Features | Tags: ,

You may have heard her song echo across a bustling Seattle skyline at the beginning of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. As Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith begins her usual narration in the show, the song, appropriately titled “Movie Star”, continues to electrify the background with its sizzling yet steady beat. “Movie Star”, of course, refers to the biggest star of the show: singer Roisin Murphy.

Roisin (pronounced “roh-shin”) Murphy, the Irish electronica singer and songwriter who has lately blitzed the disco scene across Europe and Australia, released her latest solo album in the UK on October 2007. Murphy is currently on a sabbatical from her Irish band, Moloko, to focus on her solo career. Her new album, Overpowered, is only available through import in the states. Too bad we Americans always have to wait to get the sophisticated goods. Tracks from the latest album include “Movie Star”, “You Know Me Better” and the debut hit title single “Overpowered”.

Overpowered is Murphy’s second solo album, following the August 2005 release Ruby Blue. Ruby Blue featured more jazzy tracks than the danceable listings on Overpowered, but songs from that CD have also debuted on Grey’s Anatomy.

Overpowered is catchy and remix-friendly, perfect for the all-night club scene in the UK. It’s obvious, however, that Murphy is concerned with far more than being the biggest star at a European rave party. Her bizarre music video for “Overpowered” makes that clear.

Murphy’s career has been unusual, though, so it’s no wonder that her music is, too. Murphy’s musical beginnings were largely accidental: she was in Sheffield, England to attend art school when she met future boyfriend/producer/bandmate Mark Brydon and started her career. According to her website, Murphy had no previous experience in music and her career began after she met Brydon, who was more experienced in the recording business. They formed the band Moloko soon afterward and released albums such as Do You Like My Tight Sweater?

“It’s funny to me now how all this happened so accidentally… I met a producer guy in Sheffield and made him smile when I asked if he liked ‘my tight sweater’. I was 18 and full of it. He swept me off my feet, took me to the studio and proceeded to teach me all I needed to know about making records and singing and stuff. Fate, I guess. We both adored Larry Levan’s’ edit of ‘Seventh Heaven’. It was love. Still is,” Murphy said on her site.

– Ivy Tan

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