Continuing his exploration into the alt-country, singer-songwriter realm, the former Fast Cars frontman, who found a place in the top 20 most collectable singles in Record Collector, has served up a richly layered work. Wrestling between his upbeat sensibilities and the more effecting ballad works, Audio Book offers something different with each listen. Having moved away from his punk-pop roots some 6 years ago, Murray is now reaping the benefits. Bringing together his extensive musical experience and new found knowledge, Steve Murray & Kingbird have penned some of their strongest works.
Opening with the hugely infectious ‘So James Dean’, Murray’s days supporting bands like The Jam and The Buzzcocks are recalled. An upbeat, rocking track the catchy guitar chords and vocals will stick in one’s mind. ‘Baby I’m Leaving You’ highlights the bands softer, more thought-provoking side. Coupling piano chords with brushed percussion, a relaxing, pensive mood is created and the chorus is perfectly formed. ‘Clowns With Hearts of Gold’ showcases Murray’s uplifting singer-songwriter sound and carries a poignant message of hope. ‘Mrs Jones’ is another standout track. Written prior to Murray’s second visit to Cambodia in 2011, the track has a distinctly Americana feel. Feeling a certain bond with Cambodia Murray later formed the charity Georgia’s Children, in memory of his daughter. His work helping the poverty stricken families of Phnom Penh, Murray will be using the proceeds made from Audio Book to help the charity.
As Murray stated about the album; “Audio Book is a collection of songs about life, love and loss”. All in all it is a perfectly balanced Rock ‘n’ Roll record showing Murray’s range as an accomplished singer-songwriter. Watch out for the album release on 20th May.