London-based experimental musician and songwriter Martha Skye Murphy recently impressed with her guest appearance on Squid’s debut album, but she returns very much into her own idiosyncratic world with her latest single “Found Out”. By way of introduction, she says:
“The voice is abject; it comes from within the body, it is delivered by the mouth, heard outside our anatomy, taken back in through the ear and felt as a vibration. The voice can trigger, titillate, stimulate, induce false memories of the past and desires for the future. Bending and melding, this song teases and guides the passenger into an inescapable place of their own creation.”
If the hairs on the back of your neck have now settled from hearing Murphy scream through the second half of “Narrator”, they’re about to be pricked right back up again with “Found Out”. A spindly acoustic sets the tone and timbre; we’re in a rickety mind that’s ready to be pounced upon by all of modern life’s pressures and expectations. Murphy voices these neuroses with no hint of sympathy, just pure, icy directness: “is that what you want? To be found out?” Accentuating her cutting voice and lyrics are clavinet and clarinet (to name just a couple of the elements), but warped to sound like blasts of static and slivers of skin-crawling synth, bringing an inescapable heft to “Found Out”. At the finale, she reaches for the highest, ear-piercing note imaginable – it’s undoubtedly uncomfortable, but that’s how it’s meant to be; it’s like the quiet voice that’s always nagging in the back of your mind has finally grown in volume and drowns out everything else. But maybe it’s too late.