You are a patron in the galaxy’s premiere mobile spa and bath house, located inside a large whale on a planet made up entirely of water. The facilities are designed to heat and filter the water consumed by the large beast. You grab your towel and recline in a chair surrounding one of the large bodies of water. The ripples reflect onto every surface. Your ears start to adjust, and you hear music coming from somewhere, slowly growing louder . . .
Gorgeous. It’s the ideal word to describe this pretty little album. Róisín Murphy is an Irish singer-songwriter that has been creating music in some form or another for over two decades (one of those with her previous band, Moloko), and Hairless Toys is her third solo album. This thing is ripe with stellar songwriting, and I can’t say enough good things about the instrumentation and marvelous singing present in every one of these songs.
Murphy’s style is reminiscent of theatrical groove-pop in the vein of Mr. Twin Sister and Sébastien Tellier. Murphy’s biggest asset may not even be her vocal skill, but rather her patience. Each track contains various movements that grow and evolve at a wonderful pace, and many times she allows the soaring instrumentation to carry everything from point A to point B. Most of these songs hang around the six-minute mark, but each one sounds as if it could be two (or even three) separate tracks on a less-adept artist’s album. It’s a nice breath of fresh air.
And the layers. Oh, the layers. These aren’t your typical pop song productions, but instrumental tapestries woven with sound ornamentations of every type and timbre. It’s a deep dive in a sonic ocean, containing glimpses of any sights and sounds you can imagine, and many that are completely unique. If you’re seeking intricate groove-pop with watery textures, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)