by John Gaddis
At the young age of 16, Alyson Murray received an Outstanding Potential Award from the Australian Girls Choir (AGC), where she was also selected to perform in The Boy From Oz, a Hugh Jackman production in Melbourne. Murray went on to complete her Bachelor of Fine Art Contemporary Music in 2015 at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), where she was awarded the Agnes Robertson Contemporary Music Foundation Scholarship in her first year. In her final year, she was invited to perform in a Donna Jackson production to celebrate woman in the community (FEMVOX). Later, Murray was featured in the “Art and Industry Festival in Melbourne,” directed by Jackson.
2018 brings the release of Murray’s much-anticipated debut album Breathe, recorded in New York. Breath features tunes written and recorded with British/Nigerian composer, arranger, producer and bassist, Michael Olatuja. Olatuja assisted with the production of Breathe alongside NY sound engineer, Ted Tuthill, pianist Jon Cowherd, drummer Lee Pearson and guitarist Nir Felder.
A 6-track album celebrates the richness of Murray’s voice and energetic flare. It captures the adventure, vulnerability, and bustle of life as an emerging artist in New York City, where she lived between 2016 and 2017.
For this review, we will focus on the international single “I Got You,” an advanced track of the impending album Breath, accompanied with a featured video of the single. A fun and playful side of Murray exudes from this track, emoting positive affirmations of I got you, heavily associated with the New York culture. Her vocal quality is poised and matured, certainly well beyond her years on this earth. She flawlessly creates a soulful feeling of grooved sensuality, her bluesy, soulful voice drones the words “I Got You,” with heavy hooks and pulsating basslines by producer Olatuja. The two drive the song to a thrusting cadence, Olatuja employs his bass with sweeping lines and searing slides to add to the emotional feel of the track, while Murray turns up the soul and digs in with delicate vulnerability, and moments of commanding vibrancy, all to serve the tracks success.