A gorgeous new song here from Roísín Murphy, the Irish musician with the velvety croon and a track record of adventurous dance music. Fans of what we used to call “electronica” may recognize her as the voice of Moloko, whose 1999 hit “Sing It Back” achieved global ubiquity with its inspired juxtaposition of minor-chord guitar strums and a sunny four-on-the-floor beat. Since the millennium, Murphy’s solo recordings have explored this delicate balance of bitter and sweet, as her latest single “Exploitation” shows to fantastic effect.
Laying a woozy chordal pattern atop the mere suggestion of a house beat, Murphy coos and sighs a seductive entreaty on “Exploitation.” The song seems to never break out a sweat, even as it grows gradually more urgent. It might seem rather easy to make house music that’s too skeletal, too subdued to ultimately serve the dancefloor (as evidenced by a thousand eggheads wworking in the style of minimal house), but in fact it takes quite a knack plus a necessary degree of self-possession to convey the sensual ecstasy of love and lust with such a minimal palette. Roísín Murphy has just those qualities, as we’ll get to hear further her forthcoming album Hairless Toys.
Bonus Roísín: Just so you don’t think she’s all easy-listening electronica, Murphy has laid down some serious diva vocals for a pair of bangers by British producers Crosstown Rebels. The Disco Mix of “Jealousy” demonstrates how great she sounds against a funky bassline, while the House Mix is for fans of the oonce-oonce.
Hairless Toys comes out May 12 on Play It Again Sam Records.