Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence

Imagine for a second, listening to a reincarnated version of Nick Drake (Pink Moon era) updated for the 21st century. Granted, you have to know who Nick Drake is to begin with, but even still, it should raise interest from any self-respecting music lover. Alexi Murdoch is the embodiment of that indie folk artist. The London-born, but Scottish-bred Murdoch moved to Los Angeles and almost immediately had a prodigious meeting with trend-setter Nic Harcourt on his Morning Becomes Eclectic at KCRW. That occurred in 2003, and soon after that major labels and savvy listeners were taking notice, with executives lining up at his door to sign him to a record deal. When the right deal failed to materialize Murdoch continued to tour in support of his EP Four Songs. Still without an agreeable deal he took it upon himself and recorded his debut full-length Time Without Consequence on his own. It should be noted that Murdoch was not waiting for a huge monetary deal. Supposedly he was (and still is) looking for one that is true to his artistic vision, and allows him to compose unshackled by major label requirements of producing hits rather than whatever he sees fit.

The fact that I didn't find Time Without Consequence (2006) until recently makes me feel like I'm late to a secret show at a small venue. I'm standing at the back of the room, and wishing I had been there from the beginning so I could be sitting in the front row. Either way, I'm there but can't necessarily brag about having a great view. On the other hand, Alexi Murdoch won't stay much of a secret for long. His most popular song "Orange Sky" (below) has been featured on The O.C., House, Prison Break, Ugly Betty, and most recently Dirty Sexy Money. Murdoch's music is typified by his powerfully restrained and halting voice, in addition to his understated beautiful guitar picking. The album is absolutely beautiful from beginning to end and really shows an artist seemingly on the brink of becoming a household name. His lyrics are heartfelt without being contrived. The arrangements are simple boarding on sparse. Alexi Murdoch will surely find a home at a label sometime soon, and he most surely has his pick of the litter. One can only hope that his artistic integrity is allowed to continue to blossom and develop.

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