Following the release of his second EP Five Songs to Briefly Fill the Void in March, Matthew "Murph" Murphy - guitarist and lead singer of platinum-selling indie heroes The Wombats - announces details of 'Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave', the debut album from his collaborative solo project Love Fame Tragedy.
A new single, '5150', is also released. Named after the code used in California law to protect individuals who present a danger to themselves, the track reflects on the temptations of escaping from responsibility. True to form, Murph uses the song as a tongue in cheek confessional, inspired by his own personal life as a father and husband. The song comes accompanied by a fittingly restless animated video from previous collaborator Jamie Mac.
Recorded between Los Angeles, London and Sydney, Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave, sees Murph combine songs from his previous two EPs with seven new offerings, bringing together an impressive list of collaborators including Pixies' Joey Santiago, The Killers' Mark Stoermer, Bastille's Dan Smith, Eleanor Fletcher of Crystal Fighters, Joji Malani (Gang of Youths), alt-J's Gus Unger-Hamilton, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and Mac Miller drummer Matt Chamberlain, Arts vs. Science's Dan Williams, Lauren Aquilina, Jack River and Maddi-Jean Waterhouse.
Named after a revered Pablo Picasso exhibition at the Tate Modern, Love Fame Tragedy's previous two EPs I Don't Want To Play The Victim, But I'm Really Good At It (September 2019) and Five Songs To Briefly Fill The Void (March 2020) have garnered widespread support from the likes of triple j, Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, NME, The Times, CLASH, Metro, Jack Saunders, Radio X and more, racking up over 13 million global streams in the process. Murph has recently finished a full UK tour, which saw him play headline dates across Birmingham, Bristol, and London.
Having flown unhindered into the world since its announcement a year ago, Love Fame Tragedy is Murph at his most personal and creatively receptive, making 'Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave' a gloriously uninhibited collection of synth-pop confessionals where hedonism, responsibility, anxiety and the fragility of love all collide.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Murph : Technicolour swells of rainbow tinged self deprecation.
Question: Can you tell us about your album Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave?
Murph : It's my debut album as LFT. Recorded in London, LA & Sydney. It features a lot of friends and all round 'good eggs'.
Question: What inspired your latest song 5150?
Murph : It's inspired by the myriad of escapist tendencies I've dealt with over the years. 5150 is a Californian law code for the temporary commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others.
Question: Is there a particular message you hope listeners take from your music?
Murph : I suppose I'm always searching for a meaningful connection with the listener, however it gets there I don't mind. Just as long as it resonates.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Murph : My Cheating Heart. It's a good party tune.
Question: Are you still making music with The Wombats?
Murph : Yes, we hope to record Album 5 later this year.
Question: What is the story behind Love Fame Tragedy?
Murph : I had a few songs kicking around that I thought people would like to hear. Then a load more arrived and it snowballed into its own thing/band/project. The name was taken from a Picasso exhibition I went to at the Tate Modern, London. It is in some ways a solo project but it's much more collaborative than it sounds. I generally get the songs together and get other artists to join me in the studio to make them as exciting as possible. Sometimes I don't.
Question: Can we expect a tour once all COVID19 restrictions are lifted?
Murph : I hope so yes. Everything is so up in the air at the moment but I'm trying my best.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Murph : Bands like Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and writers like Elliot Smith. That combined with an overwhelming need for attention and validation from others.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Murph : Paul Simon, Neil Young, Teletubbies, Four Tet.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Murph : Ha. Yes, every other minute of every waking hour. But that's just me, I have a very up and down relationship with my profession and the music industry as a whole. At the same time I have no other life skills so 'throwing in the towel' is not really an option.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Murph : The biggest challenge in the music industry is people who think they know what they're talking about. In reality no one has a clue what's happening but for some reason won't admit it.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Murph : Wake up at 0800 and get my daughter up, feed the dogs, two cups of coffee, write for 4-5 hours, walk dogs, dinner with daughter and wife, put daughter to sleep, argue with wife about something pointless, some ridiculous bottle of natural wine that smells like a farmyard, Peaky Blinders, man crush on Cillian Murphy, bed.
Question: What's next, for you?
Murph : Album release today, and various commitments/fun stuff around that.
Question: Can you share your socials? (links please)
Murph : Facebook
Interview by Gwen van Montfort