Sometimes we get to a point in life where we look at the world around us and reflect with the sentiment of “what the hell?” We may, to quote the great David Byrne, ask ourselves “how did we get here?”
Melbourne’s The Murlocs are releasing their latest record Calm Ya Farm on ATO Records May 19, 2023 and their latest begs us to step back and embrace our questioning of the world around us. Their new twelve tracks are a sound we could all use right about now. Kenny-Smith (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Callum Shortal (guitar), Matt Blach (drums), Cook Craig (bass), and Tim Karmouche (keys) bend the sonic landscapes of what we’ve come to love as The Murlocs. The new record is a full-bodied experience spanning flute melodies, flamenco-guitar riffs, and retro Farfisa vibes. The title, as Kenny-Smith explains, comes from “something my partner always says to me when I’m feeling stressed-out or anxious.”
The Murlocs have shaved off the fuzzed, gritty angst of Rapscallion and leaned heavily into a bouncing bluesy swagger that embodies a more southern rock style. Calm Ya Farm is like a Muscle Shoals Marc Bolan played out on the shores of Port Phillip. Sun-soaked hooks emanate from the glam prowess of tracks like “Common Sense Civilian,” “Superstitious Insights,” and “Undone and Unashamed” while the album on a whole is a refreshing deviation from everyday life. Aside from some of the best bass licks and harmonica I’ve heard in a long time, each track embodies its own presence and leaves something for everyone at the outset. From country strut rhythms to seemingly Kinks-inspired licks, Calm Ya Farm, ultimately, is a record that soothes the anxiety and stress of everyone listening.
Calm Ya Farm further demonstrates the already accepted fact The Murlocs have a firm grip on the vast musical talents and will proceed to do with it what they will. With a record like this, I suggest we let them.