CMU Approved

Approved: Martha Skye Murphy

By | Published on Friday 6 December 2019

Martha Skye Murphy

Just over a year after her debut EP, ‘Heroides’, Martha Skye Murphy returns with new single ‘Black Eye’. A sparsely arranged track with just stripped back piano and vocals, it still manages to sound and feel incredibly full, with power and tension building throughout.

The video for the track follows a character – played by Murphy – through clips captured on CCTV. Her only interactions with the viewer are brief, paranoid glances into the cameras watching over her.

“The viewer, a silent onlooker to her misery, subjective and disjointed, is allowed to be placed intimately and judgmentally into her internality with the camera’s separating lens – much like my listener who I neither see nor know”, she says. “The aim was to subvert and turn the camera’s ‘male gaze’, as identified by scholar Laura Mulvey, onto itself, with the character in the music video slowly acknowledging her voyeur behind the screen”.

The song and video both feed into an idea of creating an uneasy journey, and a feeling of attempting to reach something but never quite getting there.

“I was reading a short story by Balzac at the time called ‘The Unknown Masterpiece’ which inspired this sentiment”, she explains. “There was a line in it that read: ‘What is missing? Next to nothing, but that nothing is everything’. This was the atmosphere I wanted to be captured in the film. In our film next to nothing is documented but something is brewing. We never get to arrive”.

Prior to releasing her own music, Murphy provided backing vocals on Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ ‘Push The Sky Away’ album. She then toured with the band as they promoted the record. Cave himself has been a champion of her music, saying that she writes “lovely, haunting, lean and spacious songs”.

Watch the video for ‘Black Eye’ here:

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