Trevor Murphy has been covered on herohill in a surprising number of incarnations. His most successful endeavors have been as the ring leader of a sprawling indie collective – Sleepless Nights – part of the new local artist collective/label, Acadian Embassy and tugging at your heartstrings with the intimate confessions of Quiet Parade. His latest record under the QP moniker, Please Come Home (We Hate It Here Without You) is personal and open, the result of a recording session with Daniel “Frick” Ledwell and some friends in a remote cabin.
It’s hard to describe these type of records without sounding cliche, but Trevor’s musical pedigree adds somethig to the hushed, open singer/songwriter sound. There’s a crunch, a bite. The lap steel and the choir aren’t added for novelty. No, they are added because they were needed to complete a thought. All too often these records sound like afterthoughts, but for Murphy, this is a way to finally get these songs to tape. Do yourself a favor and either pick up the vinyl (now) or download the whole thing (it’s pay what you can, so give the man a few bucks).
#1 -”Buying Time (A Hymn)”
This is a song I wrote about my grandmother. It encompasses all the things I wish I could have told her or asked her while we all sat around her hospital rooms for months while she was dying. Underneath, there’s a feeling I attempted to capture of trying to make the people you love proud of the things you do, even if they don’t necessarily understand the things you are trying to accomplish or the reasons why. Upbeat way to start an album, huh?
#2 – “End Of Days”
The imagery of a church has always appealed to me as a songwriter. I wrote this song after seeing a bunch of churches going up for sale throughout Nova Scotia. Basically, the song is a love story that explains what life would be like if two lovers lived in a church. I liked the idea of taking everyday things like making supper and going to bed and applying them to these images that are already loaded with meaning. What if you took these things – like the church organ, the chalice or the confessional booth – and gave them your own meaning? There are some great guests on the end of this song, including members of Rain Over St. Ambrose and rotating Quiet Parade cast member Megan Hennigar.
#3 – “Bury My Bones”
This is probably the oldest song on the album. I wrote this about five or six years ago. This song speaks to the problem of memory, particularly how nostalgia can cloud your vision and make you forget all the terrible times while clinging to the good ones. My favorite part of this song is a subtle electric guitar line that you can hear at the end. I used a wacky homemade “heavy metal” purple guitar that was kicking around my parents house for more than a decade for the “solo.” You can see a glimpse of it in this “Making Of” video (http://youtu.be/8rD74UVaqkQ). The crazy part is, the guitar actually belongs to my girlfriend.
#4 – “I Will Try”
An ultimate love song. This is a song I wrote for my significant other while we were living in a terrible apartment on Robie Street. It’s about wanting to give the person you love everything when you have absolutely nothing. Again, group vocals provided by my friends in Rain Over St. Ambrose and Megan has some great parts in the chorus.
#5 – “Wrath”
A song about the end of the world. It’s a environmental and social prophesy. It’s a song that warns if we as humans continue to live the way we do, with a lack of compassion towards our home and our neighbors, we will ultimately lead to our own demise and we will have no one to blame but ourselves. I owe a huge debt to Dan Ledwell (who not only produced this album, but contributed a ton of instrumentation and vocals to it as well) for helping me make this song sound so eerie with those Beach Boys-esque backup vocals.
#6 – “March Of Centuries”
I wrote this song based around a great line from Chore’s The Trifler – “My love is the sixth station of the cross.” The idea from this song stemmed from that one line that I borrowed” and the “riff” I wrote to accompany it. The story of the sixth station of the cross is a story about empathy, and that’s precisely what this song ended up being about. I love the ending of this song, sounds like something that could have been released in 1998 and ended up on Big Shiny Tunes 3. I mean that in the best way possible.
#7 – “I Never Wanted To Live Like That”
One of the only songs I “co-wrote.” My friend Sarah Hoyles helped me pen the lyrics and shape the narrative. This is a story about trying to succeed at something you love and realizing that other people around who are trying to do the same thing are in it for the money, or the fame, or the job. As a result, you end up just abandoning the thing you love because it’s been severely tainted. Choir vocals are provided by my friends and the nicest group of people you’ll ever meet, The Hamilton Trading Company (Toronto, ON).
#8 – “In Your Arms”
A song about regret, plain and simple. No bones about it. Dan Ledwell plays some mean lap steel on this song, giving it a great haunting quality.
#9 – “An Island”
Another old song that was completely re-worked and re-hashed. It’s a song that stands in direct opposition to all the things Bury My Bones warn about – hanging on to memories and romanticizing nostalgia. I love the noises and bleeps and bloops on here. There’s something about those noises that remind me of old school CBC PSA’s. Perfect for a song about nostalgia. There’s also a fun sample at the end of this song. Can you figure out what it is?