February 16, 2018 / 7:15 pm

Major Murphy to Play Culture Shock 2018

Major Murphy is joining our Culture Shock lineup!

The group will perform at Culture Shock on April 14, just a few short weeks after the release of their debut album.

Grand Rapids’ Major Murphy is set to release their debut full-length No. 1 this year. Those who caught feelings for “Mary,” the plaintive single released in November of 2017, may be pleased to find that the single is no outlier in this album. Brimming with jangly guitar, bright riffs, synth-sheened grooves, and commanding backing vocals, No. 1 reimagines 70s radio rock with bristling sensitivity for our present era.

Not quite pastiche, the lyrics of songwriter Jacob Bullard come from millennials’ unique cache of societal anxiety and ego-crises. The album’s musical sensibilities catch all this with A-side’s sudden velocity and mechanical repetitions, and B side’s encouraging grooves and contemplative soft-rock. The sound is rich and evocative, owing in large measure to bassist Jacki Warren’s faculty for harmonic structure. Drummer Brian Voortman’s keen responsiveness to melodic progressions and emotional shifts make for concert-like, energetic recordings–in fact, most of No. 1 was recorded live, capturing how naturally Major Murphy makes music together.

The result is an album that holds the kinetic charge of these three musicians. With precise control and live versatility, they never quite let the tension out. Even their dreamy soft-rock tracks have moments that feel utterly urgent, as if something dear were at stake. And isn’t there? Major Murphy’s No. 1 releases via Winspear on March 30, 2018.