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David LK Murphy: Press

Goodbye Reviews

Patrick Slevin - The Aquarian Weekly (Mar 1, 2007)
Soft, subtle and serene... David LK Murphy creates a melodic world of calm within each song contained on Goodbye. Choosing to use, god forbid, real horns and strings, Murphy gets to the heart of us all with his melancholy themes and clever instrument choices. Standout tracks include the rolling "Silent So Long" and the liltingly romantic title track, "Goodbye." Tranquil and just this side of folk, Goodbye is a secret little gem. --SMJ
The first word that comes to mind with this album is: beautiful. Take the opening track, “Gone.” A driving rolling snare softly in the background accents an equally soft marching guitar rhythm and a just-occasional-enough-to make-it-tense bass drum hit. Then David’s voice comes in lonely over the top, pure and sweet, just for a second in a simple pretty melody line joined just a moment later by layered harmonies that (somehow, don’t ask me how) tastefully start to resemble a church choir. It is an impressive effect, very impressive. A little abstract in sound, almost a little proggy, but definitely accessible. We always knew David was good, his voice is dark and pure, his guitar playing is excellent, and his songs are impressively composed.

Still we see him maturing into his own skills on this release. In the past his voice could become too thick to be able to hold on to, or the technically impressive composition of the songs wouldn’t leave much room for an enjoyable melody. Here we don’t see those problems. His voice has all the character it ever did, but without too much thickness, the songs are sweet too, with still impressive melodies that are distinct enough to rest easy on the ear. Then there’s the production. This is where the word beautiful earns itself. The sound is soft and muted, with much of the backing band blending together in a way that makes me think this might have been recorded analog. With a drum kit, acoustic guitars, cello, and some other string and horn padding, we have an incredibly lush and warm sound. Subtlety is the key here, with no instrument really taking the lead, instead the arrangement working seamlessly together as a united mesh, where the smallest variation can change everything.

This is a short album at only seven tracks and the one thing curious is that despite all the beauty, I find it had a hard time holding my concentration the whole time. With the hypnotic lushness of the sound holding steadily across the whole album, after the first few songs there aren’t a lot of surprises here or much to redraw your attention. If there were some variance from the original idea, something to change tracks or move things in a direction once the initial sound had been explored I think I would have an easier time going all the way through. Still, this is again a beautiful album and one I put on frequently, because in the end it’s like Reggae. It may start to sound like they’re always playing the same song, but fuck it, it’s a really good song.
LK returns with a powerhouse romantic album, complete with soaring musical arrangements and beautiful backing vocals from Antifolk stars Erin Regan and Sarah Bowman. In seven thematically charged songs, Murphy's rich tenor and lyrical guitar deliver anthems of departure, death, and lost love.
- (Aug 9, 2006)
Short pitch: David LK Murphy will be releasing his new CD, “Goodbye” tonight with all strings blazing at the Living Room (music at 8pm, FREE show). If you know Murphy’s work, this should be enough. Long Pitch: Murphy’s voice and writing tread confidently in the waters of Tim Buckley, with gently strummed and picked guitar lines that for this release have been placed in a puddle of strings, harmonium and piano. 5 of the songs also have a prominent rhythm section driving them forward, and it should be noted how nice this release sounds. The music may tug some listeners towards the bar for a bit of wallowing, but that’s missing the point. This release comes across as a last call of sorts for Murphy, and the “goodbye” is directed inward. “Thank you my friends for all that you’ve done / the man that you once knew now is gone,” is sung with a perpetually drowning ache, but the sentiment is sincere; Murphy has steered himself up out of a chemical dead end on this record and he wants to thank everyone who helped him through it. And as if to hint at his next direction, Murphy leaves us with an unlisted seventh track. Entitled “If I,” the tune lets its sonic guard down, a plea to someone who doesn’t seem to be making the best life decisions. The bar scene could use a bit of guidance, and perhaps Murphy will provide it. ...

Live Reviews

Those of us smart enough to wine and dine by nine (pm) last night were able to catch a swelling dose of happy heartbreak at Pianos. David LK Murphy (aka 'Elkay') turned on that folky, bluesy charm, bringing his audience into an intimate huddle, telling us his heartfelt secrets of loving, longing and leaving. Already a young Sidewalk Cafe veteran, this artist is no stranger to exposing an unnerving vulnerability in every song he's penned, yet his delivery is somehow incredibly subtle, as his fragile but warm voice blends yin and yang with brilliance. His performance is not for those who fear delving into the human condition (unharden that NYC heart - you might actually enjoy yourself)....
David L.K. Murphy: A songwriter with accessible intensity and insanity, meaning well-crafted heavy urban-edgy folk but not superfluous whining. DLKM makes his lyrics audible because they deserve to be heard. Quite an experience!
Gabriel Levitt - Jezebel Music
His passion pours, sweats, and storms into every song he performs on stage. Each word, line, and stanza is given full priority as David gives total expression to a wide-range of human emotion, from loss to love to frustration. Pervasive throughout, however, is a focus on the confusion of life, and melodies seem to soar and reach a point of tension at exactly those phrases where DLKM find so many ways to scream, using poetry and melody, "Why?" Admirably lyric-driven songs are a hallmark to this staple of LES songwriter scene. Thanks from coming out to the Burg! Come again.
why murph isn't famous for the gravitas of his performances, I have no idea.
This week, the buzz was all about the great talent the Jezebel Music Tuesday Open Mic brings in. This week was packed with great performers, yet still standing out among them was David LK Murphy with his transcendent vocals and singing guitar, which commanded astute attention from the group.

Home to You Reviews

Stripped down, passionate, lush, and memorable. Despite the fact that David LK Murphy released "Home To You" over a year ago, the eight song EP remains a poignant picture of a songwriter at the top of his game. There's the beautifully passionate "Smitten," gracefully embellished by the cello of Martha Colby, to the haunting chords of the "Prowler Intro" followed by the power of "Prowler," featruing the talented Brian Wurschum on drums and bass. David's album is an eclectic collection of well orchestrated lyrically savvy songs. No one song stands out among this collection, though "Sixty Cycle Melodies" seems to find him at his best. Despite being a great namesake for the album, the song "Home To you" is by no means the best song on the disc. For anyone who has ever seen David LK Murphy at a show or even for a few songs at an open mic, you know his songs will stay with you even long after you've first heard them. Do yourself a favor and go get a copy of this well written and equally well executed album.
Issue Four - Urban Folk (Oct 20, 2005)