Ivo Watts-Russell

Unlikely Pairings

The two quickly recorded two demos (early versions of Canvas Beauty and Confessions) which Murphy took to Beggars Banquet. Sufficiently pleased with the results, Murphy and Hughes were booked for studio time to get to work on what would ultimately produce his first solo album. Ivo Watts-Russell (still then head of 4AD) was brought in as producer though he had never produced an album before! (The choice was largely influenced by Ivo’s project This Mortal Coil, whereby several 4AD musicians were invited to record whatever they wanted and he would simply mix the results before releasing them.)

What resulted from these sessions was more than just Murphy’s first solo album. Hughes often encouraged Murphy to contribute musical ideas, even if Murphy himself couldn’t actually play what he was thinking. Hughes would take those ideas and turn them into the music Murphy had envisioned, setting the stage for the manner in which Murphy could not just write the lyrics, but also the music to his songs.