Conor Murphy (Foxinghas returned with new project, SMIDLEY, and dropped new a new self-titled LP.

Named after his dog, the record includes the likes of Cameron Boucher (Sorority Noiseand Ben Walsh (Tigers Jaw– both of whom have new music out this year. Smidley‘s debut full length dabbles in the moody channels of The National, but soak the National-esque darkness in an upbeat synth overcoat.

No One Likes You is an infectious, piercing pop anthem that is constantly rising throughout. Booming drums and wailing choruses reiterating that ‘no one likes you’ keep the melancholy present in a deceivingly optimistic track.

Similar vibes run throughout the record with the acoustic led Nothing’ll, which looms on the disheartening theme that “nothing will keep us together.” Although the record is released at the start of summer, it sucks the listener back to the reflective state of winter but teases the good times of summer. It is a strange juxtaposed construct, kind of like The Smiths singing about having a Girlfriend in a Coma while having a jingly tune. Weird.

Highlights from Smidley’s debut come in the form of the plucky It Doesn’t Tear Me Up, which could soundtrack an indie-cult movie, a road-trip, or simply play in the background while you look for solace out of your bedroom window. Milkshake also has this kind of aesthetic – lyrics of “I love every moment when I’m fucked up” dance around a delicate, acoustic rhythm on the penultimate track.

As a whole, Conor Murphy has created a sublime debut record with new project Smidley and it will be interesting to see how the sound evolves from here.


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