Pete Murray has always been a staple of Australian music. Someone with songs you can’t help but know every word to. A staple of pub covers and radio play. And for good reason. His music has always had the kind of sound that appeals to all listeners. Catchy enough for a sing-a-long with the perfect mix of pop and folk/rock, connecting everybody regardless of their age groups or preferences, complimented by his silky smooth vocals and brilliant lyricism.
Releasing for the first time since 2017, Murray gifted us with ‘The Night’ EP earlier this month, and it has some of his best musical offerings yet. This EP differs from his previous work as he travelled around the globe to LA, Nashville and England to collaborate with other writers to diversify his writing experience and give a new spin on his own song writing and techniques.
“I had only done co-writing once before, so this was still a new experience for me and one that I was quite nervous about…. I knew I would be writing with experienced writers, so I didn’t want to let anyone down. It all turned out to be an amazing experience and I was really happy with the songs that were written over there.”
Quickly finger-picked acoustic guitar opens Found My Place before Pete’s recognisable voice enters. Beautifully produced, the song echoes sounds of hope and love. Written as an ode to his children, the song is about passing on life’s wisdom on to his kids and wanting the best for them. “Know who you are, just know who you are, trust that your compass won’t lead you astray” he sings in each chorus. Anthemic and beautifully produced, the song works as a beacon of hope for anyone who may be feeling a little lost. If We Never Dance Again follows, another uplifting song. “If you never see my face again, know I’m still a friend that you can call” he sings over tastefully produced pad strings in the first chorus before the beat switches up as he moves into the second verse. The song recounts love that is lost, or lovers who have drifted apart, and still having love for them no matter what. Written in collaboration with LA writer and producer Morgan Darr, the song is a standout of the record and of Murray’s career, and the one song that I’ve revisited the most from the EP.
Because of You has an upbeat but laidback energy contrasting the soft rock production of the previous track. The perfect summer feel-good anthem. The kind of song you’d want for a long road trip or blasting through your speakers as you relax by the pool. Reminiscent of early Jack Johnson, the song just feels good to listen to. Jazzy keyboards underline the bouncy guitars sitting below Murray’s warm vocals and arranged harmonies. Soft piano supports the bulk of the instrumental in We’ll Be Fire, opposing the guitar heavy production of the previous tracks. “So take your time, I’ll be waiting for you, you’ll be just fine, I’ll carry you through” he sings to a loved one, surrounding the themes of wanting to unconditionally love somebody and help them through their struggles. “We’ll be the fire, let’s keep it burning for two, and if we part, we’ll always find our way home again” he sings, continuing the EP’s theme of loving somebody through everything, together or apart.
John Mayer-style electric guitars open The Fall Apart over a steady, café-rock drum beat. Atmospheric guitars float gently beneath his vocals. The choruses are large, filled with harmonies and big, group-like vocals, aiding to the emotional impact each time the chorus hits. “Don’t let me down now or throw it all away… Cause it’s lonely right now if we do this alone”. “Don’t want to wait now to make you mine again” Murray sings in the second verse, about working hard to save a struggling love. The Mayer inspired production continues just after the second chorus with a smooth, tasteful guitar solo with similar playing echoing throughout the final chorus. Waiting for this love ends the EP, with gentle, bouncy acoustic guitar opening the song with extravagant pad strings before stripping back as Murray’s vocals enter, similar to the production of his biggest hit Better Days. Hand clapping and the strings give the song a different feel than the rest of the EP, almost more cinematic in a way, drawing the listener in as he repeats the line “I’m waiting for this love”. The lyrics themselves are very scenic, opening with:
“Take your picture from the wall and put it inside my coat.
Take a long, slow pause the night before I go.
You see I’m so unsteady, I’m almost about to fall.
That’s when you take my hand and cuddle me once more.”
Putting the listener right in to the story with him, bringing out the best of what the legendary artist has to offer over his long 7-album career.
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With thanks to On The Map PR