Mayo-based alt-folk singer-songwriter Con Murphy has released his debut album, Otherworld. We asked him the BIG questions . . .

Over the past number of years, Con and his band have appeared twice at the Electric Picnic Music & Arts festival, opened up two shows for Aslan in his native Co. Mayo, have sold out headline shows in Whelan's Dublin, the Roisin Dubh in Galway, and The Fjord EP launch show in Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland in 2018.

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Recent collaborations included a cello performance from acclaimed cellist and songwriter Vyvienne Long on Con's 2020 single Condemned the Lyricist.

Tell us three things about yourself?

I launched my first ever EP The Fjord in Studio Silo, Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland in 2018. I wrote the title track to the EP there in that same Fjord where my friend built his own studio after leaving Ireland in 2014.

I established a music recreation program for adults in recovery in the Mayo Mental Health services and have been running this project for the past six years.

Otherworld is my debut studio album although I've been writing for almost 18 years of my life, I only started releasing commercial music in 2017. This album represents a coming of age for me and showcases my best work to date.

How would you describe your music?

My music is a little varied but with a strong folk-rock theme. I can move sometimes from folk to rock to indie vibes, alternative and maybe even roots country elements. You could say I flirt with and blur the boundaries, I'm not afraid to try new things - possibly I'm in the pursuit of something new and unique. The album title track Otherworld represents this discovery I feel. I'm all about the lyrics, and the stories then the rest follows.

Who are your musical inspirations?

Whipping Boy, The Frames, Bell X1, The Cure, The Waterboys and David Gray are right up there. When I first heard Heartworm by Whipping Boy it hit had a huge impact on me, it still does. The Frames, like The Waterboys live in their flow, there's nothing like it. David Gray's 2014 album Mutineers is absolutely class, it has had an impact for sure.

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What was the first gig you ever went to and the first record you ever bought/downloaded?

My first ever gig was the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Pixies in 2004. I was a huge Pixies fan back then, I still am so to see them with the Chilies was an amazing introduction to my first live show.

What's your favourite song right now?

That's a good question! Intend to keep going back to material from years back. I'm still heavily influenced by music from times past, although, if I was to say what track has stood out to me most recently from recent discoveries it's possibly Seventeen by Sharon Van Etten. Released three years ago, I know, but I love the groove, the feel, lyrics, the delivery. It’s just great and makes it onto my latest playlists every time.

Favourite lyric of all time?

I actually keep a little notebook of my favourite lyrics as I have so many. I love the way a lyric can absolutely hit you in the solar plexus and stop you in your tracks. If I was to try and pick my favourite of all time, I would probably have to say it’s this one from Pictures of You by The Cure. "Remembering you fallen into my arms, Crying for the death of your heart, You were stone white, So delicate, Lost in the cold, You were always so lost in the dark".

If you could listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Glastonbury Song by The Waterboys.

Where can people find your music/more information?

My music is on all digital platforms under Con Murphy, and my full studio album Otherworld is out now. If you want to get your hands on a physical album please visit my Bandcamp page and website. And you can also find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the handle @conmurphymusic.