Martha Skye Murphy – Um

With the assistance of co-producer Ethan P. Flynn, Martha Skye Murphy stuns on her long-awaited, much-anticipated debut studio album Um

Album Review by Liam Casci | 10 Jun 2024
  • Martha Skye Murphy – Um
Album title: Um
Artist: Martha Skye Murphy
Label: AD 93
Release date: 14 Jun

Along with preceding prelude First Day, lead-single Need acts as a perfect introduction to Um, and its dreamy appeal. While the music and the arrangements can be both impressively lavish and immersively plaintive, it is consistently Martha Skye Murphy’s voice that is the most compelling instrument heard. A quiet whisper, or a sharp cry, the London-based singer's vocal performances are capable of soaring above, or piercing through, every atmospheric accompaniment. 

Some of the influences that helped to shape the LP are audible throughout, whether it’s the meticulous eccentricity of Björk, or the fairytale wonderment of Julia Holter, the spectres of art-pop past haunt each ethereal soundscape. Though that's not to suggest there has been any sacrifice made for originality. From the fanciful enchantment of Pick Yourself Up, to the crashing electronic crescendo of Kind, or the calmly spacious closer Forgive, Murphy’s balladry is full of satisfying surprises that make these songs sound acutely her own.

After scores of singles – and a single score for the movie The Late Departure – there's an assurance on Um from an artist that has gained the requisite experience to release such an accomplished debut.

Listen to: Need, Spray Can, Kind