“The Cross (Croce) will be the next step in Father Murphy's path and the concept behind the new Father Murphy’s album.
“It was time for Father Murphy to measure with such a symbol.
“It's all about Sacrifice and Beatitude, dear C. Lee and Rev. freddie.”
This is the artist statement behind Calvary by Father Murphy. Not music as such, but a short piece of sound art - a musique concrete tone poem figuratively depicting the execution place of Dismas, Gestas and Jesus of Nazareth.
The tone poem is collaged from the sounds of wood being cut up and built into a cross, with percussion sounds recorded at the Holy Friday Procession in Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia, and the banging of metal constructs in a children’s park in Stockholm.
The vocals and other audio elements were recorded variously in a backyard in Brooklyn, a mansion in Joshua Tree, a cave in San Francisco, and on the Pyramid of The Moon in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Calvary features a guest appearance by Ezra Buchla on viola (formerly of Gowns and heir to the Buchla synth dynasty).
Father Murphy have toured and collaborated with the likes of Xiu Xiu and Swans. Their previous release - Pain Is On Our Side Now - challenged the listener to engage creatively with the sound they are experiencing, by presenting the audio across four sides of vinyl, any two of which are required to be played simultaneously.
The duo’s own description of their sound is “Father Murphy is the sound of the Catholic sense of Guilt. A downward spiral aiming at the bottom of the hollow, and then digging even deeper.”
Praise for Father Murphy:
“From the harbingers of occultism and eroticism lifted from their nation's giallo tradition, to their theatrically adopted pseudo-religious personas, this Italian group are a 'cult' band in every sense of the word… Donning a cloak and edging into black occultism doesn't have to call for downtuned guitars and corpse paint… when peeking into the murky and bizarre world of Father Murphy, it should most definitely require something of a ritual to earn rite of passage.” - The Quietus
“…an unapologetic venture into head music and contains some powerful compositions. It’s steeped in a sense of reverence, but one that looks below, rather than expecting anything from above.” - Drowned in Sound
“Father Murphy are an Italian trio, who are about that musical point where seventies horror films, the folky point of prog-rock and a delightfully disturbing psychedelia meet. It will be a bleak vision for many to cope with, but those who enter here will not abandon hope, once their eyes adjust to the gloom…” - 17 Seconds
“Hailing from Italy, Father Murphy have seemingly taken their home country’s love of the opera, Catholic churches, fine art, and romance and turned it into something rather epic and mysterious.” - Clash
“At the dark heart of the record is… epic torment – wails, chants, Satan’s own orchestra – somehow skirting round pomposity. That such regular flecks of humour do little to dampen the sinister presiding atmosphere remains Father Murphy’s most potent spell.” - The Skinny
“How do you define the undefinable? How do you attempt to put into words the aural psyche of an artist apparently intent on some level of mass hypnosis? How do you convey your own trip through the haze of sonic displacement within a confined definition of what is and isn’t reality, what is and isn’t ‘music’ as we know it? If Father Murphy’s songwriting duo are on some sort of voyage of self-discovery it’s as exhilarating a ride as you would expect it to be…and as dark as one too.” - Lonesome Noise
“No matter how you look at it, it’s eerie. It’s as if a group of mountain-dwelling monks experienced a collective schizophrenic breakdown and decided, also collectively, to create cohesive experimental records. It’s creepy as hell, but boy is it good!” - FencePost
“If you’re looking for something to chill the bones and freeze the heart, then you need look no further than the discomfort caused by Father Murphy.” - The Grim Tower
“The band has consistently transfixed ears and psyche with challenging, at times uncomfortable, provocations… Father Murphy is a band to devour and cower from, a proposition which can only do you harm and good, if you dare brave their invitations.” - The Ringmaster Review