By Jon Milton
Part of a the seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of talent residing in Brighton right now, Murmur grabbed our attention late last year with their excellent single ‘Shame’, which subsequently found its way in to our 'festive fifty' best of 2020 playlist. The band released their first single ‘Fragile’ in 2017, followed by ‘Cradle’ in 2019, and now come armed with a blistering new single ‘I’m the Same’ to be followed by EP released later this year.
I caught up with George from the band to talk about the band, the new single and their plans for the future…
Tell us about the band - who is in it, how did you come together, what brought you to Brighton?
The three of us grew up in the midlands, Ben and myself met in school, we’ve been in bands together since we were 15 and we later moved to Brighton in 2016 where we met Jack, who later joined the band in 2018. Ben and myself first met jack on a early Murmur recording session and from then on we started hanging out in similar social circles, when the bands line up changed in 2018 we asked him to join forming Murmur, as you know it today. I think one of the main reasons for us moving down was to be part of area that was renowned for it’s music scene. Previously being in bands in the midlands we would usually gig in cities like Brighton the more we did the more we had the urge to move and be a more permanent part of it.
I’m the same is about a person’s fear of becoming someone they’re not - does that stem from personal experience? What’s the context?
The initial urge to address this came from personal experience but also conversations I had about it. Addressing the defeatist thoughts of someone who is never satisfied with them selves. Realising the manipulation of media and its fatalistic nature and vocalising how it shapes the way one socially and physically perceives them selves. Lyrically the phrase ‘I’m the same’ is a fearful association with this toxic train of thought, at it’s root it’s a realisation that ones desire to become validated by strangers is diluting their identity and their ability to love themselves for who they truly are.
This will be the fourth single released in as many years, why the long gaps in between?
As I briefly mentioned before the line up changed back 2018, which took a minute to adapt to going from a four piece to a three piece. So for the majority of 2018 and 2019 we took time to write new material and gig it, evolving a new sound for the band, it’s not until recently I feel as if the band have gained a solid identity which carries through from the live shows to our recordings. With this confidence as a band, I feel as if we’re able to pursue narratives and sounds that ring true with the band.
Who are your influences, both musical and otherwise?
Musically we all draw from similar places, pulling from bands like Killing Joke, Interpol, Eagulls and Radiohead to name a few. Recently I’m listening to a lot of Model/Actriz and bdrmm, which all add to the mix. Generally speaking anything that gives me confidence to speak honestly and venerably is influential. Addressing experiences with social anxiety and self-reflection are significant when talking about influence personally and can often fuel a conversation worth talking about.
You have a new EP on the way, tell us about it?
Since the end of last year we have been writing in and out of the rehearsal space when we can. It has been little different to the usual process not gigging the songs before hand but I think this had brought a different quality to the songs, being recorded within a matter of weeks of them being written. Usually maintaining that initial excitement and spontaneity can be more difficult once you’ve sat on the songs for months but going about it in the way that we did I think has managed to capture this. As for the new songs, I feel as if they are some of the most sonically diverse and lyrically up front of anything to date, showing off a more melodic side to the band.
Outside of the EP, what are your plans for 2021 and beyond?
We are set to release ‘I’m the Same’ on April 2nd and we’re currently working on another two singles due out later this year. We have plans to be back in the studio in the coming months to record the next batch of songs, but for the moment we are still writing out of our rehearsal space. We’re looking forward to playing the new batch of songs live for our live stream show with Hot Box events on April 3rd and hope to share some live dates for later this year very soon.
'I'm the Same' is released on April 2nd.
Link to the Hot Box Live Event: https://hotboxlive.co.uk/event/murmur-hot-box/