The Wicked Whispers talk to The Music Manual after release of double A-side single:


PSYCHEDELIC fivesome, The Wicked Whispers are back with their latest, kaleidoscopic, double A-side single, If I Set You Free / Zodiac Girl.

Courtesy of Electone and Ocean Waves, the single dropped digitally on 12th August and limited edition copies on 7" vinyl will be available from 16th September.

A couple of years have passed since the monumental release of debut album, Maps of the Mystic so this latest cosmic instalment has a lot to live up to.

Reminiscent of the times, the tracks possess an ethereal synth-based instrumental complimented effortlessly by a deep ridden locality within front-man Michael Murphy's vocals, welcoming the Mersey waves into a psychedelic spree of uncertainty,

Zodiac Girl has a celestial head bopping tonality, there's no way listeners can sit still with its far-out beat and harmonies completely complimented by its hypnotic guitar and bass line.

The video for If I Set You Free directed by Dan Hewitson, Freakbeat Films can be seen here:


Announcing a couple of new shows to christen the release, The Wicked Whispers front-man, Mike Murphy opened up to The Music Manual:

It's been a long time - what have The Wicked Whispers been up to? 

Since our debut album we focused on our tour date commitments then needed to take a bit of time out. We had worked hard non stop for over 3-4 years to get to that point and it was time to have a refreshed approached. I moved house and had a few dark months following a personal matter which took me off the radar for some time.

We then started a fresh outlook, drawing the line under previous material and got together and set a plan to do a Butterfly's Ball - we did it last November reforming The Stairs too, a UK tour and prepare and record new material which would kick off with a double A-Side.

We didn't want to change our 'brand' but it was essential we worked differently and created new material that felt fresh and exciting to us as well as the listener.


How long have the new tracks been in the pipeline, have they always been destined for this release? 

I had already written a 2nd Whispers album but by the time we started the new approach and re-grouped we all needed to start a fresh new direction, songwriting included. 'If I Set You Free' and 'Zodiac Girl' however I salvaged from that 2nd album session but we took the songs back to basics and all took equal control in creating the sounds and arrangements.

They instantly felt fresh and instant and we knew right away these had to be singles and we had always thought about a double A-Side to return with.


How was the experience of recording and the Motor Museum - did you use any specific rooms? 

We loved recording at The Motor Museum and working with Carlo Variola and James Mellor. I didn't want to souly produce anything this time.

The debut album nearly sent me over the edge, the complexities to the approach and working the sessions were difficult and stressful. This was so much fun as we literally prepped and then went in and got the takes down.

It was a very quick process. The studio is very inspiring and positive. I had recorded there years ago with 'Whiskey Headshot ' and always intended to return. We will be going back there very soon also...

Is there possibility of a tour announcement soon or any surprises?

We've done a few UK headline tours now. Some have been great shows and some I feel we either hit the city too late after the buzz died down or too early before people knew us. As we've been away a while, We've announced 3 core UK dates. (Liverpool Buyers Club, Birmingham Hare and Hounds and London Water Rats).

We are going to focus on these and promote the double A-Side single. Then build the momentum and see how it goes and hopefully announce more UK dates later this year / early next. So far it seems to be going very well and there's a lot of buzz around these 3 shows already.

Tom Powell
Was the artwork the band's idea? 

As always we overthink this, so after hundreds of discussions we passed the job to the trusted Mike Snowdon at the Microcosm who has done another wonderful cover for us. We wanted it simple, colourful and arty. That was the brief!

Do you think physical releases are a thing of the past for Liverpool musicians? 

No way! Its coming back in a big way. We've been reviving it for 5 years to be fair. Our debut 10" EP got everyone talking back in 2011, and since then we've done everything vinyl (except the singles off the debut album as we'd already paid our for 12" pressing).

This I think could be our lushest release, as its a double A single and we've opted for the colour vinyl for the first time too. It's a true collectors release and its on its way to selling out pre-order already just like our first 10" EP.


You recently played Skeleton Coast and Liverpool loves, did you play the new material? 

If so, what was the response like? We did indeed, we played the two double A-Side Tracks (If I Set You Free and Zodiac Girl) some new material which will appear on the next release and we revised some of our older tracks. It was a lot of fun and the crowds reactions have been great!

What would you like your listeners to get from If I Set You Free and Zodiac Girl? 

I think since we started and helped re-boot the psych thing a lot of new bands have come through along with a new audience, some of the new audience missed us at the end which feels mad!

Were not too bothered about being psych anymore though, we've done that and it was always about the songs anyway rather then playing psych to be cool or fit in, but we want audiences old and new to appreciate what we do when we get it spot on. This feels like our first release, maybe our best yet from a band playing and listening prospective. Its not me running the show now. Its a band and feels like a band and its proper exciting again! I want people to feel excited too and these singles are two very excitable tracks.


Are you planning anything exciting for your 'homecoming' show in October? 

People will have to wait and see but this is going to be an straight up in your face live show. No bells or whistles. It's a great intimate room (Buyers Club) and when the people fill it up its an incredible vibe. We have always poured so much passion into our shows which people appreciate.

For this one they won't be disappointed but we won't be bringing any inflatable pigs! Lots of new material, people feeling the new exciting and enthusiasm and two great supports, which we will be announcing soon. Unmissable!


Words Lauren Jones

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lauren@themusicmanual.co.uk