If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the last few months, you may be familiar with the Irish electronic music singer/songwriter and producer Roisin Murphy. Murphy started her musical career as one-half of the duo Moloko with her then-boyfriend Mark Brydon, but it was the release of her 2005 debut solo effort Ruby Blue that helped Murphy garner attention as a rather inventive artist, as her work incorporates elements of jazz, pop, dance music and other genres, as well as found sound samples. And although the album was critically applauded across the blogosphere, the album was unfortunately a commercial failure.
2007 saw the release of Murphy’s sophomore effort, Overpowered, which was considered for nomination for the MTV Europe Music Award for Best International Act but unfortunately never made the short list. And although she hadn’t released any new album-length material, over the last few years, Murphy has released a number of singles and collaborations with the likes of Fatboy Slim, David Byrne, Crookers, and several others.
Last year, Murphy released the Mi Senti EP, a collaboration with her frequent collaborator Eddie Stevens and her partner Sebastiano Propezi, which featured the Irish singer/songwriter singing covers in Italian. Reportedly, that effort’s material intentionally channelled Edith Piaf and Studio 54 in a style that Murphy coined “very adult-orientated disco.” Interestingly, Hairless Toys, Murphy’s first release in over eight years, also reportedly draws from similar influences – in this case, European house music, Casablanca Records, and the legendary Grace Jones. “Evil Eyes,” Hairless Toys’ latest single consists of a wobbling and propulsive bass line, cascading synths, skittering percussion and Murphy’s breathily seductive (and plaintive) vocals. It’s effortlessly elegant pop that shimmers and yet just under the surface something isn’t quite right. Much like the previously released singles off the album, “Evil Eyes” captures the narrator’s psyche with a nuanced, novelistic view – it captures and evokes the sensation of crumbling from the weight of one’s failures and anxieties.
The official video is the second self-directed video which stars Murphy. And as you can tell it’s a cinematic video that’s both glamorous and darkly funny as the video focus on the crumbling psyche of a wife and mother, who’s dealing with the weight of expectation and duty that will eventually consume her – and perhaps even destroy her. Commenting on the video Murphy explains, “"This character I have created goes mad. Of course female hysteria is a cinematic cliche of massive proportions and I was able to find multitudes of reference particularly in Scandinavian films. Nothing about the visual aesthetic is ‘Rock and Roll’ and yet there is plenty of rebellion going on. I find it interesting to create videos that don’t try to look like pop videos at all. Hopefully this will be a mysterious and disorientating experience for the viewer as we are not dealing in anything too concrete here, just ambiguity laced with black humour.“