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Daniel Ward-Murphy - Until The Morning Light

Daniel Ward-Murphy, Until The Morning Light

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

LONDON-based singer songwriter Daniel Ward-Murphy is a testament to the idea that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it, and are persistent.

Having built a name for himself on the live circuit, Daniel then set about recording and producing his debut album with the help of his fans.

Anxious for Daniel to record his debut album, they came together at to raise the necessary recording budget for him to enter the studio. Hence, with the backing of well over 900 “believers”, who invested a minimum of $10 (US dollars) each, Daniel raised the $50,000 budget required at to release his debut LP.

And the result is a strong collection of songs that have been put together with the assistance of acclaimed producer/engineer Tony Platt (Bob Marley, AC/DC) and a clutch of talented musicians, including Jennifer Delaney (vocals), Helen Twomey (violin), Milo Bird (cello) and Pravin Mukhi (drums).

Through Sellaband’s varied International partnerships with the likes of Amazon & The Orchard things are set to multiply rapidly in both the physical and digital spheres once the album is released. It looks likely that Daniel will be able to complete with mainstream artists in the commercial marketplace too – a challenge that he is embracing with relish:

Commenting on his path to success, Daniel said: “The record labels have been telling people what to like for a long time, and now it’s time for the public to choose what they want to listen to.

“Now they are the record company, they are the people getting the albums they want for great prices and they are the people making it happen for these artists. I am happy to be one of them and support this great music revolution.”

So, what can newcomers expect from the LP? Well, if you like the style of artists such as Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, David Gray and, especially, Damien Rice, you may well find plenty to be impressed with.

Album opener She’s A Knockout is particularly good – boasting some impassioned lyrics, a nice set of boy-girl vocals with Delaney and an alluring combination of violin, cello and guitar.

My Beautiful Predicament and I Think I Made You Smile maintain the quality – the latter, especially, coming across as beautifully melancholy.

His rockier style is evident on the up-tempo The Queen Of Something New – a highlight – while Flame is one of the more instantly catchy, singalong efforts.

Sometimes, much like the songs of Rice and Adams, the subject matter and composition is a little too weighty (The Genius of Myra being a prime example), but on the whole, this is a strong debut LP that justifies the faith put in it by fans, and the hard work of Ward-Murphy and his team.

Indeed, the biggest compliment we can probably pay him is that, based on the overall quality of the songs on this LP, why didn’t the record companies put more faith in him in the first place?

Download picks: She’s A Knockout, I Think I Made You Smile, The Queen of Something New, Flame, Act of Defiance

Track listing:

  1. She’s A Knockout
  2. My Beautiful Predicament
  3. I Think I Made You Smile
  4. The Queen of Something New
  5. The Sun Is In Your Eyes
  6. You Live Up In The Stars
  7. Flame
  8. The Genius of Myra
  9. In This Fair City
  10. Under The Wire
  11. Act of Defiance

  1. Record companies aren’t interested in talent, only in what they think they can sell. Ward-Murphy’s quality is way above their ‘lowest common denominator’ radar.

    B.B.Jazz    Jan 26    #
  2. It’s interesting you single The Genius Of Myra out as “weighty”. I’d agree, as it ‘appens, but I’d also say perhaps there’s more meat to it as subsequent listens continue to reveal, for me at least!
    That said, the CD’s not been off my stereo since I got it, so the same is perhaps true for all the tracks!

    UBG    Jan 27    #
  3. All the praise heaped on DWM and his album here is deserved 100% imo. Great sound, great album, great artist. Tough act to follow and I think it may be a real challenge for Daniel to beat this one with his next album.

    MerchantEyes    Jan 31    #