The first time we encountered the music of Murphy Kaye, we were driving in our car while WMSE was playing the positively terrific “Headlong.” So perhaps it’s only fitting that Kaye’s newest single, “Joyride,” is kinda-sorta-but-not-really car-related. Weird.
“Joyride is about being young, lost, and confused,” Kaye explains. “But at least you’re young, lost, and confused with your friends.” Indeed, the song assumes the voice of someone providing a ride-or-die friendship complete with late-night visits to the hospital and declarations of undying acceptance. “I want you to know that everything’s alright in my eye,” Kaye sings in the chorus. “And even if lonely, I’ll show up and stay by your side.”
Musically, “Joyride” builds from a simple pulse of guitar and bass to an achingly gorgeous wash of drums and synth and multi-layered vocals. It’s another stunner from Kaye, who first entered the local scene as lead singer of the indie-pop band ah-ko. After releasing several solo songs under the name Wanderslut, Kaye landed on her current, more radio-friendly moniker in 2020.
“In 2021,” Kaye writes, “Murphy Kaye is confronting the anxiety of working without a writing partner by generating one new song every week for a calendar year, in addition to releasing several new, official singles. She also co-founded and actively collaborates with the Milwaukee artist collective Meltwater Pulse to develop and flesh out her songs. Murphy Kaye cites the group as one of the reasons her music ‘is only going to get better.'”
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• Murphy Kaye’s “Headlong” came out in 2020 but we heard it for the first time today and it’s great