Multi-Instrumentalist and songwriter Joshua Murphy presents his debut release – ‘Lowlands’ EP coming out via aufnahme + wiedergabe on December the 2nd. Written in Berlin during 2019 / 2020 and produced by Martin J Fiedler, Lowlands unites dark ceremonial tales, a narrative of sombre procession, atmospheric composition and evocative storytelling.
“I started to become very focused on Funeral music, at first, specifically Western funeral music” – explains Joshua pointing out the main sources of inspiration behind “Lowlands”. While getting into arrangement parts, Murphy got fascinated with the emotional complexity of funeral music, how it’s used to encapsulate or represent the life of a person and also the end of their life. That led to the key idea defining the direction of Joshua’s move. To make something very simple and true.
“I have been very exposed to this concept of artists and bands creating and then shaping something, In the pursuit of perfecting it. Within a set or a show. Their art sometimes becomes a stagnant repetitive thing. Performed, night after night, in exactly the same way. Which is beautiful, but if one element of that perfected show isn’t working on a particular night for some reason, even for a simple reason, like a broken amp, or a missing computer, or an instrument. Then none of it works. The work becomes so perfected in its form that it in a way becomes stagnant, unmoving” – describes Joshua: “I wanted to work in the opposite way, only the song matters. The song can be reinterpreted by myself and still remain the same song. The elements that accompany it, whilst they should be beautiful, and they are important on the record. They can and should be changed for life.”
“Lowlands” coming out via aufnahme + wiedergabe – pre-order the EP here.
The idea of self-limitations accumulated during the recording process, with the helm of Martin J. Fiedler, the producer of the EP. “We’d chosen five elements for the instruments – piano, guitar, synth, strings and voice” – coming out of the idea of making restrictions, purposefully limiting themselves Joshua Murphy arrived at the collection of songs he describes as “simple, not lost in production”, four honest and raw stories.
On the one hand, perfectly fitting, as the reference to the background of Joshua Murphy, – uniting darkness, light, and contradiction “Lowlands” keeps the mystery for the listeners.
“A lot of “light” music, whilst the delivery is light and happy, the subject, and the topics of the songs are actually quite bleak” – explains Joshua, commenting on the dark aspect of his writing.
“There is a darkness to Lowlands, as there is a darkness in me” – despite the general tonalities of “Lowlands”, Murphy points out that one of the key concepts for the whole release was to make the lyrics and the instrumentation speak of hope.
Joshua continues: “We focused on this with the piano playing and the strings also. The idea was to have the arrangements lend themselves to beauty, even if a little sad or dark at times. So ultimately, I see it as a hopeful release”.
Born and raised in outback Australia, Joshua Murphy, to a degree, followed the path of Nick Cave – eventually moving to Berlin and becoming involved in the local scene as a member of various bands, promoter and club owner. Though, despite the dark ceremonial emotionality that has always been associated with Berlin, “Lowlands” takes its main inspiration from Joshua’s motherland.
“It’s beautiful country, unique, impossible landscapes that seem to go on forever, but the Australian outback can always still be a somewhat desolate place. There is loneliness there. It’s also very flat and at the bottom of the world geographically,” – describes Murphy. “I guess Lowlands speaks of both those things. Instrumentally I wanted to represent those wide open and isolated places that I grew up in, but also try and capture the beauty of those places, and of growing up there, the impossible landscapes, the endless vastness of it”.