Thursday, January 03, 2008
Alexi Murdoch--Time Without Consequence (2006)
Album-Time Without Consequence
Release Date-Jun 6, 2006
Biography-In late 2003, things picked up rapidly and a bit weirdly for folkie Alexi Murdoch. Moving to balmy Los Angeles from Scotland in the late '90s, Murdoch let the sleepy, weepy U.K. folk sound seep into indie and lo-fi influences. But he never did much with his music beyond some local gigs, he worried about damaging his personal attachment to the songs. That was until September 2003, when Murdoch appeared on Nic Harcourt's tastemaking Morning Becomes Eclectic show on the L.A. public radio outlet KCRW. The singer's halting, tender vocals and understated acoustic guitar work made a huge impact, and suddenly, savvy music licensers — not to mention major labels — were knocking on the Scotsman's door. He performed at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2004, was slated for SXSW that March, and made all the teenagers cry when his dusty, melancholy "Orange Sky" tinged a particularly sentimental moment on the breakout Fox TV hit The O.C. Murdoch took his sudden and unexpected success in stride, promoting his self-released EP Four Songs and planning a spring U.S. tour while continuing to field offers from the clamoring major labels. However, not finding the right offer, Murdoch decided to again independently record and issue his first full-length, 2006's Time Without Consequence, which contained three of the four songs also included on his EP.
Review-After appearing on the soundtrack to the hit TV show The OC, Alexi Murdoch could have easily followed Death Cab for Cutie onto the major label merry-go-round and let a bevy of A&R folks shape him into Next Big Thinghood. Instead, the Scottish singer/songwriter's self-released debut full-length bears haunting similarities to the likes of Nick Drake's Pink Moon, hardly the way to mainstream stardom no matter how many car commercials it inspires. Nearly a third of the album will be familiar to those who already have Murdoch's 2004 EP Four Songs, three-quarters of which is reprised here, including "Orange Sky," the aforementioned small-screen favorite. ("It's Only Fear" is the sole track that didn't make the leap, insuring collector-geek status for the EP.) The remaining eight songs are, in the best possible sense, more of the same, and in the case of the first single "Dream About Flying" and the haunted opener "All My Days," they surpass the older songs. Murdoch's murmuring, Drake-like vocals and John Martyn-style acoustic guitar are at the forefront of the album, with only the most minimal accompaniment. Detractors might dismiss Time Without Consequence as the work of a Cat Stevens for the Garden State generation, but there's a always a place for hushed intimacy and delicate folk-pop singer/songwriters, and Alexi Murdoch fills the bill without the mewling self-absorption of the emo contingent.