The soulful Australian-born, NY-based singer-songwriter takes us inside her brilliant new LP
Today, Alyson Murray welcomes her first complete project since 2018, The AM Session. The soulful Australian-born, New York-based vocalist delivers a personal, honest, jazz-filled eight-track collection(co-produced by Gregory “Phace” Fils-Aime), which sources inspiration from the likes of Alicia Keys, Moonchild, Robert Grasper, Phil Collins, and Janelle Monáe.
Murray looked inward to channel her personal experience into this warm, dazzling collection of songs. Throughout the record’s eight tracks, Murray captivates listeners with an intimate and vulnerable chronicling of her personal experience. Each track on the EP plays its own part in telling her story, multiple standalone chapters that, together, create a cohesive story. Featuring an impressive cast of mostly female musicians, the eight-track EP channels the raw energy Murray has become known for during her live performances.
Listen to The AM Session now and read below for Murray’s track x track take on the record:
1. “Good Morning (Intro)”
The songs on The AM Session were written from an online series of songwriting ideas, called the #AMsession. “Good Morning” is a catchphrase I started every #AMsession with. We decided to create this introduction to tie it all together! Encapsulating the sounds of my morning in New York, from the busy streets, subway rides and coffee drinking. A little “welcome to my world.”
2. “Someone Like You”
Writing about love in a time of isolation felt healing. “Someone Like You” embodies the energy and warmth I wanted to express through this record. When I write music, I want to create a sense of timelessness, in its context and composition. “Someone Like You” feels like a homage to a classic love song, from the trumpet lines to the harmonies. I write to feel good, and I hope that transpires. This track features vocalist Rasul A-Salaam.
3. “Small Steps”
On the surface this track is a love song, but it’s much deeper than that. “Small Steps” is about respecting and loving the process, through all aspects of growth. The sound scape for this song was inspired by Alicia Keys’s track “Butterflies.” Initially, I was fighting to have drums, but I’m so glad we decided to keep it acoustic!
4. “Soul Searching”
“Soul Searching” is a high-energy, hard-hitting track. Lucianna Padmore is the drummer on several of these tracks and she is absolutely killing it on this one, locking in with bass player Michelle Marie Osbourne. This track was definitely the most vocally demanding to record, unlike a one take live performance this track was layered with vocals and pushing at both ends of my range. It was fun, but hard work!
5. “Loud Dreams”
This short two-minute track was written as an interlude and evolved into an introduction for track six, “Where You Are.” I love the lullaby feel we created and the rich vocals that build through the end. We referenced Emily King’s track “Aya,” the breath this song created on her record and trying to create something whimsical and texturally different to the following tracks.
6. “Where You Are”
This song is a slow-burning groove. Written in the heart of isolation, spoken word artist Barry K Gibbs (featured on track seven, “Peace in Me”) gave me the initial inspiration with the opening three lines: “Wind whispering in my ears, sun kissing on my skin, I can’t wait until you come again.” After writing this track I brought it to my co-producer, Phace, and he wrote the beat to accompany it. It’s an easy listen and a simple progression. I enjoyed moving through the melody pretty loosely and just creating something simple and beautiful.
7. “Peace in Me”
“Peace in Me” featuring Barry K Gibbs on spoken word. This song started off as a loop with a repeating motif. I was playing on piano but from the start envisioned it being on guitar. My guitarist, Alicyn Yaffee, created so much energy and emotion in her playing, the track really built once we had her recorded. With long stretches of sound and a hard beat produced by Phace with warm tones and a strong forward motion, the song continues to build when Gibbs enters with the spoken word and it is all tied together.
8. “I’ve Got Love to Give”
An oldie, the only track on this record that I have played numerous times to a live audience. “I’ve Got Love To Give” has always been received so well by my audiences. It’s just a straight up feel good song that I wrote in 2017. Very much maintaining a live essence to the recording, similarly to track three, “Soul Searching,” what you hear in your headphones will be replicated in the live performance – and I love that! The chorus of this song truly sums up how I try to move through life, with zest and love for what I do and who I surround myself with.