With her first complete project since 2018, soulful, Australian-born, New York-based vocalist Alyson Murray is here with a personal, honest, jazz-filled eight-track EP, The AM Session, co-produced by Gregory “Phace” Fils-Aime.
The singer-songwriter looked inward to bring the stories within her to life. “Each song on this record brings its own character. Initially, I was concerned about the soundscape and the different motions, but I think we have created cohesiveness in the themes and each track ties to the next, presenting a ‘story-like’ result, similarly–but not as extravagantly–as Janelle Monáe’s The ArchAndroidand,” expresses Murray. Of her influences, the vocalist cites Alicia Keys, Moonchild, Robert Grasper and Phil Collins as inspirations when creating the intimate project.
In 2019, Murray started a virtual YouTube and Instagram series, #AMsession, featuring a collection of songwriting ideas and improvisations. This series ultimately served as inspiration for the eight-track collection, out today. While the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered life as we knew it, Alyson found herself resorting to online teaching and music tutoring, eventually coping with the new, unpredictable loneliness of isolation through writing music. “I wanted to timestamp the year, undoubtedly one we will never forget,” explains Murray. “My aesthetic as a musician is typically one of positivity, uplifting music that you could groove too or reflect upon. This record is no different. I’m excited to have something rewarding come from a year as difficult as 2020.”
The first single, “Someone Like You,” was called a “jazzy vibe nugget that has downbeat acid jazz flair with a catchy array of R&B and soul,” by Glide Magazine. Glide continues, “Murray proves her multi-dimensional artistry as she lays down silky smooth vocals over rhythmic retro beats reminiscent of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia album.”
The EP’s gentle second single, “Small Steps,” celebrates the process of nurturing a new love with an accompanying music video. Of the visual, GroundSounds wrote, “The ballad-inspired track features Murray’s vocals soaring above stripped-back instrumentation, with bassist Luca Soul Rosenfeld and pianist Kelly Green brilliantly accentuating the singer’s slow dive into a new love. The result is an intimate, raw performance of one of the most tender tracks from the forthcoming EP.”