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Samantha Murphy - JPop.com
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Samantha Murphy

Samantha Murphy

Samantha Murphy


Murphy Strives for Stardom Yet Keeps True to Herself By CHRIS KOCHER (Binghamton, N.Y.) Press & Sun-Bulletin If ambition were rocket fuel, Samantha Murphy would be ready for blast off to Jupiter and beyond. Just check out the title of her debut album, released last year: Somewhere Between Starving & Stardom. Its not a conceit its a trajectory mapped out in her head, and shes determined to make it a reality. She loves to tell people about her ultimate goal to play three sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden and watch their reactions. Read more on Last.fm
Murphy Strives for Stardom Yet Keeps True to Herself By CHRIS KOCHER (Binghamton, N.Y.) Press & Sun-Bulletin If ambition were rocket fuel, Samantha Murphy would be ready for blast off to Jupiter and beyond. Just check out the title of her debut album, released last year: Somewhere Between Starving & Stardom. Its not a conceit its a trajectory mapped out in her head, and shes determined to make it a reality. She loves to tell people about her ultimate goal to play three sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden and watch their reactions. Some people think Im an overachiever, Murphy said. (But) I havent sacrificed all Ive sacrificed just to play at the local pub. The womans got moxie, but its not without reason shes got talent, too.

Lots of it. Lyrically, Murphy uses clever word choices as building blocks for both sassy observations and heartfelt confessions. Musically, she hooks listeners with melodies that feel bold and original yet somehow like old friends. And that sensual voice, equally adept at rebellious rock tunes and poignant love songs, is one that most of those American Idol wannabes would sell their souls to have. (Yes, even the men.) If anyone seems destined to create music, its Samantha Murphy. Her Australian parents founded the band The Murphys, and Samantha was born in Hawaii during a tour stop.

Her childhood was spent crisscrossing the United States with her family to open for artists such as Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. Growing up on the road was incredible, to be honest, Murphy said. I didnt have to go to school, and I didnt have any sense of fear no sense of fear because I had to get around a lot on my own. Since then, music has taken Murphy around the globe. In Australia, she toured with Kylie Minogue; she did gigs in London for more than a year; she spent time in Nashville, living and recording in former slaves quarters. For four years she honed her skills as a staff songwriter for Warner/Chappell Music in Los Angeles. Driven to have her own career, she moved to New York City and began work on Somewhere Between Starving & Stardom.

From start to finish, it took four years more time than we would have liked, she admits. The CDs total production cost was $1,500, with Murphy pulling favors from everywhere and no one getting paid. She relied on free studio time, so if paying musicians wanted it, she and her collaborators would get bumped. A few tracks were built from demos she recorded in her apartment and elsewhere, proving that sometimes the first take really is the best. Murphy, producer Chris Sorensen and co-producer Stuart Big Stu Brantley recruited some talented backup musicians among them drummer Matt Laug and bass player Lance Morrison, who played on Alanis Morissettes breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill. Right from the first track, Murphys voice reaches out and grabs you. Miss Takes must be one of the most pointed kiss-off songs of all time: Its not that you were boring / Its not that you were terrible in bed / It all boils down to two things / Everything you ever did or ever said.

Ouch. The sweet and ethereal Come Back to You was inspired by a friends script, but Murphy believes its message about taking risks and finding your true self was also meant for her. Im not a religious person, but I am very spiritual, she said. I feel that song at that time was a message from God to get back to who I really was. We all get lost and end up looking in the mirror wondering, What happened to me? Christopher Street outlines Murphys dreams of fame and riches, all wrapped into a tale of real estate envy. (An ironic twist: Murphy currently has no home she relies on friends couches to save money to invest in touring.) Stressed-out workers everywhere can appreciate I Wanna Go Home, about the trials of working for the Man: I wanna go home / read Rolling Stone / eat a big snack / take a long nap / smoke cigarettes / have no regrets / Leave me alone / I wanna go home. Other highlights include At the Laundr-O-mat (a fantasy about meeting a guy during the weeks grimiest moment), flowersandfireflies (a seductive paean to a lover) and The Best Thing (a crooning ode to a love that wasnt meant to be). Unlike so many albums today, not one song on Murphys CD feels like filler.

In fact, be sure to stick around for House On Fire, the unlisted bonus track about loves burning flames. Many independent musicians understand the value of the Internet as a publicity tool. However, few seem as plugged in to its potential as Murphy does. In addition to the usual song clips and photos, she offers a thoughtful and well-written blog that shares her experiences on the road and elsewhere. More remarkable is her weekly podcast, dubbed SMtv, in which Murphy discusses and interviews fellow indie artists like herself. More than 20,000 listeners download the podcast through iTunes and her own site. With so much on her plate touring, promoting her CD, booking her own shows, podcasting and maintaining her Web site Murphy sometimes works 12 to 14 hours a day, and thats before she straps on a guitar and performs. Still, shes a woman passionately doing what she loves and setting that example for others.

In a way, she's a motivational speaker with a guitar: I encourage people to sleep in their cars if necessary, to live in poverty. Its soul-destroying to do anything you dont want to do. Luckily, with dreams like hers, that trip to the stars cant be too far off. ckocher@pressconnects.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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