Beloved rock band The Murlocs have unveiled the title track from their upcoming new album Bittersweet Demons, out June 25th on Flightless Records. The track catalysed the album’s entire concept, with its moody piano tones and softly sprawling arrangement, the song took shape soon after the 2019 death of frontman’s Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s dear friend Keegan Walker.
Says Kenny-Smith, “I was messing around with the tune on the piano for a while but never knew where to take it lyrically. Over time the bones of the song sat away in the back of my mind waiting for the right time to come back out and be pieced together properly. Whilst we were on tour in America in 2019, one of my sweetest and dearest friends Keegan Walker passed away. His presence was unlike any other I have ever experienced. That kind of person that’s forever filling you up with joyous excitement. Someone that always took the time and effort to be in your life and support you through the thick and thin no matter what. Every time I came home from tour he was always the first to contact me and come by with some croissants and a handful of lavender that he’d pick from my front garden. Keegan was always there for his friends. A few days after the funeral I sat back down to play at the piano and the words started to come out and feel right. I reckon Keegan would’ve loved this song, he loved this kind of soppy stuff cause he’s a softie just like me”.
The song is the third release from the upcoming album following songs ‘Eating At You‘ an instantly charming, bluesy sing-a-long with plaintive harmonies and lush pedal steel and the album’s first single – the rocking ‘Francesca‘.
In addition to the title track’s release, the band has announced an album release stream recorded live at the Brunswick Ballroom in Melbourne, premiering June 26th at 10am AEST. The stream will be available for two weeks, purchase tickets HERE.
The theme of celebrating their nearest and dearest continues on the upcoming album, which is equal parts character study and adoring homage. The album, Bittersweet Demons out June 25th via Flightless Records, shares a collection of songs reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on their lives, the saviours and hell raisers and assorted other mystifying characters. The most personal and boldly confident work yet, the album sets that storytelling to 11 infectious tracks written mostly on piano, lending a greater emotional intensity to the band’s restless and radiant brand of garage-rock. What emerges is a beautifully complex body of work, one that shines a light on the fragilities of human nature while inducing the glorious head rush that accompanies any Murlocs outing.
With their lineup including two members of the globally beloved King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (Kenny-Smith and bassist Cook Craig), The Murlocs recorded at Button Pushers Studio in Melbourne with producer Tim Dunn, dreaming up a prismatic sound that pinballs from sunshine-pop to blues-punk to wide-eyed psychedelia. Naming John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Harry Nilsson’s Lennon-produced Pussy Cats among their key reference points, the band adorned their songs with many unexpected details: woozy Wurlitzer melodies, Brian May-esque guitar harmonies, playful atmospheric elements like the whoosh of summer rain, caught by a microphone dragged into the street mid-storm. The result is an album both exuberant and heavy-hearted, a dynamic that wholly fulfills Kenny-Smith’s mission of “always aspiring to write songs that have a bit of twisted positivity to them.”
The Murlocs hope to have some touring plans to share sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we can promise that Bittersweet Demons is a dizzying delight of cracking songs, all set to provide some superior sonic sparkle for each listener.
The Murlocs are: Matt Blach (drums, vocals), Cook Craig (bass guitar), Tim Karmouche (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (vocals, harmonica, guitar) and Cal Shortal (guitar).