Singer/songwriter Simon Murphy has become a regular on the live scene around Belfast since the release of his debut EP earned the acclaim of BBC Radio Ulster in 2014. Most recently however, he has emerged from the studio with his full length follow-up, Let It Be. The twelve track undertaking is due to drop in August and features contributions from accomplished Northern Irish artists such as Kaz Hawkins, Linley Hamilton and Anthony Toner.
Beginning with “Once Upon a Time”, it bursts into brilliantly bright instrumentation ahead of a very cheerful melody. A captivating chorus soon takes over, radiating a lot of warmth. Remaining relentlessly rousing from start to finish, it serves as an extremely enthusiastic opener. “Meet Me on the Other Side” is another amiable offering afterwards, but with a slightly lighter delivery. It skips forward upon a soft and speedy beat, while a spirited duet resounds wonderfully across affecting instrumentation.
The mellow and moving introduction of “Not in my Name” prefaces a solemn serenade full of feeling and fervour. It’s a brisk ballad with a poignant ambience. “Lone Star Heart” trots out of its wake upon a cool and crisp acoustic riff that adopts a dire demeanour behind a fast and forceful melody. This leads to an expressive chorus which really resonates, helping to provide a persistently pressing piece.
There’s a mournful mood to the vocals of “Here Goes Nothing” that gradually diminishes as it takes on a more optimistic outlook. Its instrumentation builds constantly and enthrals through its wilful refrain. “I Have a Voice” follows via a quirky drum beat that intrigues as it stomps into an arresting display of vivacious vocals. It all amounts to an irresistibly uplifting anthem that thrills throughout.
A jovial acoustic riff paves the way to an airy array of vibrant vocals during “My Baby”, forging a colourful composition which hops along eagerly. “The Life of Brian’s Son” is an ardent addition next, unfolding merrily to make for an engrossing listen. Its elated instrumentation is especially exciting, being all but guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
The underlying attitude of “I Smell a Rat” recalls songs of a more punky persuasion. Its cheeky tune is rife with ferocity, while its overall execution stays lighthearted, resulting in a very fun affair. “Evergreen” emerges from its aftermath with an honest and heartfelt harmony to which it is easy to sit back and unwind. “The Idiot” comes as a departure when it’s over, featuring a sombre and serene tone, brought to life by nothing but vocals and an acoustic guitar. This eventually gives way to “2 Ghosts” for a touching conclusion.
Simon Murphy’s easy and accessible pop/rock style allows for a lively collection that should appeal to a wide and diverse listenership. There’s not a dull moment to be found within this album. The passionately played presentation of each of its entries ensures that it keeps consistently compelling. Let It Be is available for pre-order on Amazon now.