With no hype and no record label, Alexi Murdoch’s Four Songs resonates across the country, one listener at a time.
Listen to Alexi Murdoch and you’ll be struck as much by what you don’t hear as what you do. Peace, quiet, space. The London-born, Scottish-bred singer-songwriter manages to hush the noisiest of clubs and to calm the most restless listener with his music. Critics have been hearing the mystic folk of Nick Drake in his voice and the earnest storytelling of Harry Chapin in his lyrics. But his growing fan base knows the strongest elements of his music have always been Alexi’s own heart and soul.
In the short time since he recorded his self-released EP Four Songs, Murdoch has been moving listeners one by one. It has added up to nearly 20,000 copies sold, thanks to compelling live performances, astonishing support for an unsigned artist from 50 of the most influential radio stations across the country, and good old-fashioned word of mouth.
"It's becoming a nationwide thing but it's happening on a really intimate level," explains Murdoch. "The thing that’s been the most rewarding is the reaction that individual people are having. The song 'Orange Sky' seems to connect people to their families or feelings about family, whereas ‘Song For You’ seems to really speak to people on a very personal and intrinsic level." Each night, after every show, there's a new story, a new connection, someone who’s taken away something profound; one listener wrote in recently that they were so inspired, they actually quit their job the week after attending a show.
It was early 2002 when Murdoch himself put all distractions aside to commit himself 100% to his true love, music. Right away, audiences were drawn to the conviction in his performances. After a few early shows, Alexi quickly became a local favorite in his new hometown of Los Angeles. One instant fan was KCRW’s Nic Harcourt, host of the trendsetting show Morning Becomes Eclectic, which had trumpeted the likes of Norah Jones and David Gray long before they were household names. “I put Alexi's demos on the air as soon as I got them,” says Harcourt. “When I like something, signed or not, I want to tell the world.” The secret was out.
Within months, his music was prominently featured in the teen drama, "Dawson's Creek" and later on the hit shows, "The OC" and "Everwood." Appearances at the Sundance Film Festival, The Austin City Limits Festival and New York's South Street Seaport Music Festival, followed and great music cities across the country were starting to feel like Alexi’s hometown as well. “Alexi's music has received the most inquiries from listeners this year. He is an artist that is touching people's souls," says Jody Denberg of Austin’s KGSR. Similar stations like KMTT in Seattle, KFOG in San Francisco and WXPN in Philadelphia knew that they were witnessing something special and were happy to share it with their listeners. “For an unsigned artist to have such significant success with our local listeners and listeners around the country is a fact that goes directly to Alexi's immense talent, songwriting, and performance skills,” says Program Director Bruce Warren from WXPN. “I watched 7,500 listeners at this year's Singer-Songwriter Weekend hang on to every note.”
It’s proof that with Alexi’s music, it’s as much about what you feel as what you hear. Alexi Murdoch is the kind of artist you want to tell a friend about. The kind of artist you put on a CD mix and take with you on a road trip. The kind of artist that reminds you that everything will be ok.