Life is pretty chaotic at the moment, but Surrey based singer-songwriter Alec Murray set aside some time to talk to The M Word about his music. We get to know a little bit about him, his influences, his latest five-track EP ‘Monday Morning’ and even a hint of new music to come! Check it out below!
Introduce yourself as an artist! How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?
I’m someone with many influences, due to having gone through many different phases. I listen to (and incorporate) a lot of brit-pop melodies, such as Blur, yet I love to chill out to lofi or artists like Mac DeMarco.
I would say the songs are mostly based around the guitar, but I love experimenting with different pads and synths and using my voice as texture (especially in Those Kids). If you asked me a genre, I would say indie rock/pop, but I touch on folk in ‘Find’.
What kicked off your interest in music? Was there a particular moment where you had a flurry of musical inspiration?
I loved films way before I was properly into music. I was watching Kubrick, Hitchcock, Jeunet, Coppola, Wes Anderson, Lynch, and Fincher before I’d even discovered Pink Floyd.
Then I watched Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 ‘Romeo and Juliet’ which is life changing. When you see an angst-riddled Leo sitting on a broken down stage at sunset, writing love poems with the melodramatic plucking of Radiohead's 'Talk Show Host' reverberating in your ears, you can't help but fall tragically in love with a dead man.
The film and the soundtrack are incredible; I was hooked. I wanted to explore sound and see how it can create an emotion or force a state of mind. I started to write songs, seeing how I could communicate a certain mood or feeling that I was feeling, and the world of music was opened up to me. The next thing I wanna do is make a film with original songs in it - like a glorified music video.
I absolutely love your latest release (and first) five track EP Monday Morning. Can you tell us a bit about the inspirations behind the release?
The Monday Morning project is slightly varied stylistically with each track. I really like conceptual albums such as The Beatle’s White album or any album by The 1975, which works as a body of work due to the differences of each track. By placing a song such as Love It If We Made next to Be My Mistake (complete contrasts), it produces a narrative and is a hella lot more interesting than making a whole album of different versions of the same song. So I wanted to mimic this with the EP, presenting a slightly different style - a different side of me - with each song. Each track seems like a different side of my personality.
I know that the entire process of creating your EP happened over lockdown, did you find that you were more inspired more to create music or did you face some issues creatively?
Lockdown is the reason the EP exists. Being gifted the time and space away from school and having life literally grind to a halt, I was granted immense creative freedom that I hadn’t come close to experiencing before.
Over lockdown, I was able to actively write and work on the songs for as long as I wished, instead of having to grab free time between work and school. Lockdown helped me discover a wide range of music as I had time to dive into Spotify and YouTube rabbit holes.
I could teach myself, with the help of my teacher, basic production much quicker than if it had been done during "normal life". Without lockdown, I doubt I would have been happy enough with the project to release the EP.
There’s many great artists about at the moment – new and undiscovered and ones which have been on the scene for longer, are there any that particularly influence your sound?
Nick Hakim isn’t exactly unknown, but I only discovered him over lockdown. He’s such a talented DIY artist with the chillest vibes you’ll ever find. He really challenged my creativity in using the layered voice as an instrument and his most successful track ‘I Don’t Know' directly influenced the writing of 'No One Like You’ which gave me the idea of this big ass guitar solo to end the whole EP. But seriously check out his first two EPs and his Green Twins album.
I also have this weird obsession with (the very well known) The 1975. I am obsessed with their experimentation with style, genre, song form, voice, synths, creating beats out of random things, and the overwhelming sense of angst - I’m a fan. I have poured over their albums recently to try and figure out how they gained certain effects. I also just love the energy of their live shows - Matty kills it every time.
Can we expect any new releases soon? Any plans for some live shows when they’re permitted?
Yeeees. I’ve been writing loads and can’t wait to release some more music. I am finishing up a new track called ‘Tired’ which is super laid back and I have just written a song called 'The Feel Good Song' which I am extremely excited about - it's really upbeat and is quite conceptually similar to ‘Those Kids'. I am obviously growing and developing as a songwriter and producer but I feel like these songs are kind of a continuation to the Monday Morning EP.
Playing live is more problematic. I am just starting out in search for a band, although I can play all the songs solo, they don't have the same energy that I would want for a proper gig. In the meantime, I am busking on streets to try and widen my audience (however small) and starting to play in a few pubs.
Give Alec some support as he begins his journey onto the music scene, stream his EP ‘Monday Morning’ below and follow his socials for more music updates! I for one can’t wait to hear what music comes next!