Father Murphy is an Italian trio comprised of Reverend freddie Murphy (vocals, guitar), Chiara Lee (vocals, keyboards, chinese percussions) and Vittorio Demarin (drums, viola, vocals). Born in Treviso, northern Italy, from the ashes of freddie’s several previous musical projects, Father Murphy with just one album and a plethora of ep’s and limited releases became one of the most mysterious and enigmatic musical entities coming out of Italy. If their first album Six Musicians getting unknown was still somewhat rooted in twisted psychedelic pop and sounded vaguely related to Os Mutantes and Italian psych pop masters Jennifer Gentle, the new record is a bold statement and a significant step ahead - out of every familiar musical genre and right into the darkness. Recorded in San Crisostomo in Bombanella church between the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, And He told us to turn to the sun maybe was born like a rather weird attempt to a concept album about religion, but surely sounds like a collection of dark, foreboding songs that crawl and twist and hiss like that old biblical serpent.
Think of Gnostic masses, kabbalistic chanting, chiming little bells, tinny Gregorian-like drones played on toy-keyboards and the subtle but inescapable influence of 70’s Italian horror rock acts like Jacula and you will have some of the ingredients that make Father Murphy’s music. Add a good deal of lunacy and enough humour to keep the gloom away (just because you cannot take yourself that seriously) and the album is here, in all its strangely beguiling simplicity. Song after song, from the initial semi-pop outburst of “We were colonists” to ascetic, almost medieval atmospheres of Go Sinister, the entire lp feels like a truly different, warped experience. Think of Alan Sparhawk’s Low doing versions of Twilight furniture from This Heat or Milk it from Nirvana. When the final, 10-minutes mastodon “In their graves” creeps in with all the agility of a primordial doom-metal beast slowly sucked in a prehistoric swamp, everything comes full circle: an uneasy, compelling, furiously heretic yet sandblasted in Catholicism little album that could come only out of Italy.
Mario Santana, Matt Marando