Review: Róisín Murphy – Take Her Up To Monto

What is ‘cool’ anyway? The word gets thrown around in regard to many artists – a significant amount of them even like to make such proclamations for themselves – but how many would you say are genuinely cool? The word should be used for musical enigmas who exist outside of current trends, genres, viral hashtags, and ‘the sound of the season,’ the ones that are consistently unpredictable, always imaginative; the bona fide creators who are a trend in and of themselves, but also so intrinsic to their artistic persona that it can’t be manufactured it into a replicable product.

Róisín Murphy is that kind of artist, and she’s back with a new album Take Her Up To Monto only a year after the critically acclaimed release of Hairless Toys. The two albums were actually masterminded during the same five weeks of recording sessions with long-term collaborator Eddie Stevens, but while Hairless Toys served as a segue into Murphy’s bold new experimental musical direction, Take Her Up To Monto is here to establish and develop it further.

Take Her Up To Monto is complex – dark on the surface but beaming with light that will convince listeners to want to keep diving into it over and over again. Every track is an epically full-blown tale which, in true Murphy fashion, travels though a variety of different sound landscapes. Once again, storytelling is one of Murphy’s distinguishing qualities and her lyrics unfold with every listen.

‘It’s about the London that I live in,’ says Róisín Murphy of the visual direction in her video for ‘Ten Miles High,’ ‘it’s a lot about architecture, it’s about building and the future coming, it’s about here! It’s a bit fizzier and more present tense, irreverent, with guerilla filming, montage and crazy shit. I hope it’s a realism that makes you feel good about being alive.’

That it does. Take Her Up To Monto brings feel good vibes while still engaging her audience to take part, to question, to rewind and analyse.

Róisín Murphy is different without trying to be different, and this quality shines through every time she puts out new music or performs live on stage. Her songs are a little difficult to comprehend upon first listen, but her work is worth spending time to understand, and her intelligence, style and originality shine through in her latest album. She’s the epitome of cool, and Take Her Up to Monto highlights her true brilliance.

Take Her Up to Monto will be out on July 8th via iTunes.

Written by Raya Raycheva