Having entertained the masses during lockdown with a series of incredible performances from her own living room, Róisín Murphy unveiled her latest album, Róisín Machine, earlier this month, reinforcing her status as the high priestess of positive vibes (something very much in need in these strange times).
The year 2020 also marks the 25th anniversary of Murphy’s first venture into pop music, as one half of Moloko, alongside Mark Brydon – a duo responsible for the infectious Sing It Back, Pure Pleasure Seeker and The Time Is Now, among others.
In February 1996, dSide’s Donal Scannell caught up with the upwardly mobile Arklow native following the release of Moloko’s debut album Do You Like My Tight Sweater?
“There’s a lot of good music which comes out of Ireland, but quite a lot of it is restricted by rules about what Irish pop should be,” Murphy, who left Wicklow at aged 12, explains in the interview. “I’m obviously not connected with any to that, so we don’t sound anything like U2 or The Cranberries. I’ve been in England too long, I think.
“I think it’s quite hard to find an identity today. Being from two places highlights that for me, but I think in general it’s difficult to find a national identity. I think that’s what this Britpop business is all about, trying to reinforce a national identity that doesn’t exist. It’s more about picking up little pieces of culture and putting them together.”
According to Murphy, Moloko’s sound encompasses elements of “rock, Eighties, rare groove, house, jungle, P-funk and everything all in one” – something she has explored in more detail in her solo career – and the duo’s debut could be interpreted in a number of ways.
“Each time it can mean something different. It spans a very broad audience in a way, cos it means different things to different people. In Europe it’s really weird, because they like it when someone can put out a rock track and then a jungle track or a jazz thing after that. They lap that up.”
And as for whether Murphy would ever up sticks and return to the coastal bliss of county Wicklow?
“I couldn’t live in Arklow again. But then I couldn’t live in any small town again, it’d drive me mental. It’s a strange place, Arklow. There’s a big place outside town, a factory or something, and all the trees down the road there are all a bit yellow. I think that’s why everyone’s a bit loopy in Arklow.”
[Full article can be found below, click pages to open in a new tab. Article taken from dSide Magazine, February 1996]