Bishop Briggs

Bishop Briggs is my new obsession. It takes an extraordinarily impressive artist to break through the chaos of life as we now know it and lure me to listen to a full album—let alone write about it. Bishop Briggs’ new self-titled release is that album.



Bishop Briggs is the stage name of 25-year old British musician Sarah Grace McLaughlin.

Her music is truly unique. You can compare elements of her robust voice and trippy beats to Lorde, The Mynabirds, VV Brown, and Ibeyi, but there’s no one artist that sums up her complex and alluring sound.

“Wild Horses” is the album’s spectacularly multi-faceted centerpiece. Other standout tracks are “River” and “Dead Man’s Arms,” but it’s an album I’ve enjoyed listening to all the way through on repeat. Definitely one for my best of the year list.

Buy @ Amazon (only $4.74)

Bishop Briggs Twitter: @thatgirlbishop

Sonya Cotton: When I Go Home (Album Review & Exclusive Mp3)

No one so beautifully interprets heartache as Sonya Cotton. Her new album, When I Go Home, continues where her exquisite previous album, It is so, left off. Sonya’s lovely, otherworldly lilt narrates the loss of loved ones and nature over melancholy, multi-instrumental folk melodies in the classic, masterful way of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez.



By the banks of the Yuba river
I received the dreaded call
that began the slow unwinding
of the life that I had known

From the mystery comes beauty
from the mystery comes strife
every moment at the mercy
of a force we cannot describe

The standout track is “Bloodroot.” Sonya says: “‘Bloodroot,’ in addition to being about a polar bear, is also about my mother’s losing fight with cancer. (As you may know, bloodroot is a plant that some claim can be used to pull tumors out of the body. Others believe there is no scientific/medical merit to this.) Though my mom never used Bloodroot, for me it was a symbol of the last strand of hope or last ditch effort in her battle with this illness.

That kind of metaphorical depth is a trademark of Sonya’s lyrics, particularly on this album and its predecessor. Every Sonya Cotton song is like a rich, poetic book.

Other highlights are “Yuba,” “Time Shows No Care,” “Don’t Want to Say Goodbye,” and “My Heart Lives,” but the entire album is truly, extraordinarily beautiful.

Sonya was kind enough to grant Muruch an exclusive mp3 download of “Bloodroot”. If you like what you hear, please support this talented independent artist by purchasing the full album at Bandcamp.

Sonya Cotton – Bloodroot (mp3)*

*posted for limited time w/ artist’s permission

Buy @ Bandcamp

The Definitive Leonard Cohen Cover

Allison Crowe’s definitive Leonard Cohen cover, “Hallelujah,” and her haunting choral rendition of Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” are featured on the Muruch.com Presents Allison Crowe album.

Allison Crowe Official Site

Amanda Palmer’s New All-Star Song “On the Door”

Is there an electro-comedy genre? If not, Amanda Palmer & Brendan MacLean just invented it. Their new song about concert guestlists, “On the Door,” weaves an electro-dance chorus with comedic answering machine messages from various celebrities including Neil Gaiman, Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Craig Ferguson.

It’s strange and funny and I love it. You can download the pay what you want (incl. free) mp3 at Bandcamp.

Amanda Palmer & co. “On the Door” (mp3 download page)

Allison Crowe: Heirs + Grievances – Album Review & Mp3s!

I won’t pretend to be unbiased here. Allison Crowe has been Muruch’s musical mascot for over a decade now and we at Muruch are thanked in the liner notes of her new double album, Introducing/Heirs + Grievances. So obviously I was excited and predisposed to love this album before I even listened to it. Still! It’s absolutely fantastic.



The first disc of this 2-CD set is Introducing, a live concert recording with lots of bubbly banter from Allison and a full set of songs performed with her new band.

The second disc, Heirs + Grievances, is a studio-recorded album by Allison and the band. Heirs + Grievances is a gorgeous, full circle showcase of Allison’s growth as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her extraordinary voice is unrestrained and beautifully accompanied by her bandmates.

Allison and her band’s choral rendition of “Tarry Trousers” is a standout with an almost Medieval folk tone, akin to Medieval Baebes (whom I love).

The final three tracks of the albums are the most capitivating and I’m happy to premiere the free, authorized mp3s below.

This new band rendition of “Words” is even more powerful than the Heavy Graces solo version. I may have cracked a rib gasping in awe when Ally roars “I am so angry!”

Then she split me like a wishbone with the volatile vocal finale of “Lisa’s Song.” It’s Allison at her very best, delving into the rich depths of her lower register then unleashing a banshee wail.

Allison masterfully uses her voice as an agile, spiralling instrument in the finale “Silence.” Her astounding, aerodynamic flourish at the end of the song enters operatic realms.

Allison Crowe & Band – Words (mp3)

Allison Crowe & Band – Lisa’s Song (mp3)

Allison Crowe & Band – Silence (mp3)

Allison Crowe Official Site