The Key Studio Sessions: Michael James Murray

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As the final hours of the year tick away and 2013 drifts into the the whispering world of memory and contemplation, we thought a Key Studio Session with Michael James Murray would provide a apropos soundtrack. We were introduced to Murray as a filmmaker a couple years back – one half of the Out of Town Films founding crew. Soon after, we met his Radiohead-esque atmospheric rock outfit Edison. But that band went on hiatus earlier this year; Murray’s sonic partner Alex Savoth took the rock side into his new group The New Black, while Murray himself continued to explore atmospherics more deeply on two haunting solo EPs. The Heart Weeps For What It’s Lost was released in February, and followed up with a sequel in July. Ambient is a good starting point to describe what he does – songs ebb and flow, swell into crescendos reminiscent of Sigur Ros and Emeralds guitarist Mark McGuire, and drift away into fields of minimalism – but there’s much texture and understated depth to what he does. For this Key Studio Session, we hear a mix of effected electric and acoustic guitar, narrative found-sound samples and clicking percussive loops, with organ and violin accents (the latter care of collaborator Alison Rigby Minnick). The pieces can be quiet, spacious and meditative, but they can also be very involved depending how deeply you care to listen. Tune in below, and have a safe (and thoughtful) New Year’s Eve.

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