Irish singer/songwriter, Sean Murphy who goes by the stage name All The Queens Horses, won Third Place in the 2020 International Songwriting Competition for the Folk/Singer-Songwriter Category with his song “Jocelyn.” Murphy’s voice has a rather deep comforting sound to it that makes the world around you slow down as you listen. “Jocelyn” is a wonderful emotional track with touching vocals and beautiful instrumentals. I had the honor of interviewing Sean Murphy about his musical career, his music and his future plans.
Where are you originally from? Where are you located now?
I was born and raised in Cork City, Ireland and moved to Dublin a few years back.
When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career as a musician?
While I played music, I never had any intentions of making original music, until COVID hit 15 months ago and I needed something to do. I felt I listened to a lot of music and played piano and had a guttural type low voice so I was like whatever I do ....at the very least ...it wasn't going to be awful. I did it for a bit of fun and it went from strength to strength from there.
Who is your biggest influence/inspiration to become a musician?
We played a lot of music in our house growing up. And I listened to a lot of music all the time.
What genre of music do you consider yourself to be?
It's probably hard to cover it in one genre. To sum it up I guess it's alternative, word driven, melancholic, indie but written in pianos and cellos and sometimes more distorted rock.
What was your inspiration for writing the song that you submitted for the International Songwriting Competition?
Ireland has a colorful relationship with emigration. People moved from rural parts of Ireland to big cities in the USA. Back then I guess it sort of meant leaving their families almost permanently. People didn't have the technology, financial set up, facilities or support that people do now. I always remember reading about an Irish girl who moved to New York from Clare, Ireland and really became part of the city; but struggled a lot and was on her own after leaving her family in the early 60's, as the US was coming alive culturally and economically post war. She died by suicide and was really young. It just seemed like a dark story that could be articulated and that was my attempt.
What do you hope for listeners to take away after listening to your song/music?
Hopefully that they come away appreciating reasonably decent music and lyrics in a world flooded with modern formulaic lyrics, singing style and music.
What is your favorite song that you’ve released and why?
"The Ides of March," it's raw and my wife, my uncle and good friend are incredible on it (think strings and backing vocals). In saying that, my favorite songs are not yet released (released in the Sept album). I have this unreleased song on the album called "My Angels Sang to Notre Dame." It was actually an ISC semi-finalist. I don't know what it is about it, but I really like it lyrically and musically. It's distorted, indie and structurally unusual. It's based on Mick Flannery's song, "I Own You," with a flavor of The National maybe. It's a style of singing that's not rap but not fully melodic either. It's like a halfway house and the beauty of that style is it allows you to say a lot more words than your average melodic song. Most melodic songs have slower extenuated drawn out words so you can say less and they are more simplistic.
Who were your favorite musicians growing up? Do you feel that they played a role in influencing your music today?
Conor Oberst, Damien Rice, Mick Flannery, The Doors, Declan O' Rourke, Leonard Cohen, Conor O' Sullivan, Cherry Pie. There are shades of them coming through for sure. The rawness, the melody style, the lyric style, the instruments.
If you could collaborate with any musician throughout history, who would you choose and why?
I reckon my voice would go well with a raw female vocalist (think Big Thief, Lisa Hannigan). Lisa, if you're reading this, hit me up. All of Lisa's Horses has a ring to it.
Do you have any new projects that you are working on?
Album, gigs, new songs and some cool things I'm not at liberty to talk about yet.
Are you planning on touring/performing any shows in the near future?
Yes that is the plan.