Lara tells us her thoughts on the first solo offering from alt-pop aficionado Matthew Murphy's new project, Love Fame Tragedy.
Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy – better known as the lead singer of the popular Noughties trio The Wombats – has recently ventured out into uncharted territory with his new solo project Love Fame Tragedy, featuring members of Pixies, Alt-J and Pearl Jam. His debut release I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I'm Really Good At It steers us away from the satirical and relatable style of song-writing that The Wombats are recognised for and delves into a deeper and more open place, producing an honest set of infectiously gritty tracks.
The single My Cheating Heart, featuring model and singer Maddi Jean Waterhouse, is Murphy’s most rock-fuelled track on the EP, alluding almost eerily to the artist’s past works. The song outlines Murphy’s struggles with the debauchery and excesses of living in California. Having first heard this record without yet knowing about his new solo project, I immediately recognised Murphy’s vocals and made the instant assumption that the song was a new track by The Wombats. Featuring a punchy guitar riff, colourful dance beat and a catchy melody, the song doesn’t stray too far from a classic tune by the trio, filling me with a sense of nostalgia.
Backflip is the EP’s quirkiest tune and potentially a new indie pop jewel, as it highlights the troubles that come with modern day’s dysfunctional online dating. On the surface, this track seems gleamingly melodic, however paranoia definitely lies beneath it. Backflip does differentiate itself from previous works by The Wombats with an overall darker mood, lower guitar line and muted bass. It features an overall slower pace that builds up during the verses to the somewhat forceful and hard-hitting choruses. Throughout the song, the vocals are layered to create symphonic yet haunting harmonies that are distorted at times and clean at others. There is also a soft female vocal from Lauren Aquilina that further lifts the dark and ominous nature of the tune.
'Backflip does differentiate itself from previous works by The Wombats with an overall darker mood, lower guitar line and muted bass'.
The gentle, soothing sound of rain lingers softly behind a simple piano line for the intro to the second to last song on the EP, Brand New Brain. The lyrics recount the morning after a particularly wild Hollywood party and this song has all the essential elements of a classic heartbreak banger – a crisp, continuous drumbeat and the soft sounds of a guitar.
The final song, Pills, is stunning on the ear and takes us into a deep, electronic-pop trance. Murphy’s vocals are simply layered over a series of electronic soundscapes and a heavy drumbeat, while a hum of the aforementioned Lauren Aquilina’s beautiful voice is harmonised behind them. The stunning vocals from both artists over the seemingly minimal backing track give the song a more emotional and intimate feeling, allowing the potency of the lyrics to shine through: ‘the pills don’t work anymore, not like they used to’.
'The stunning vocals from both artists over the seemingly minimal backing track give the song a more emotional and intimate feeling'.
As their first offering, Love Fame Tragedy’s new EP I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I'm Really Good At It is definitely worth a listen for those who are fans of The Wombats, and packs enough of a punch with its small selection of catchy tunes to draw in everyone else.