Ah, heartbreak! A turbulent emotion that promises to throw the best of us off course and into a dizzying state sure to consume those that fall victim to it. Well, as confusing and isolating as it may be, artist Murdo Mitchell is here with a tortured tune that perfectly summarises the experience. Releasing “Ghosts”, the Glasgow-based artist treats us to pensive beats and his bold vocal delivery, culminating in a heartbreak anthem worthy of the name.
Talking about the meaning behind the cut, Murdo explains, ” I’ll keep it quite cryptic and say ‘Ghosts’ is about the vulnerability you open yourself up to in a relationship and the trust that both parties must have in order for it to function. It’s about what happens when that trust breaks down. I heard one of my favourite songwriters Glen Hansard say ‘the more truthful and honest you get in your writing the more universal it becomes’, and I love that idea.”
Upon the release of “Ghosts”, the talent sat down with Wonderland to discuss the memory of his 11-year-old self first stepping into a studio and what the future holds post-release. Head below to enjoy our interview with Murdo Mitchell. To buy tickets to the artist’s London show, clickhere and to buy tickets to his Glasgow show, click here…
Hi Murdo, how are you? Where are we speaking to you from right now?
I’m feeling good! It’s been lovely weather for April. I have got a few gigs to look forward to this next week: Barrowlands show in Glasgow and Liverpool Sound City. Then, I am off to the Philippines for a 10-day break. I’m currently in sunny London, near The Emirates stadium, relaxing on my couch.
Let’s start at the beginning, have you always wanted to do music?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved performing. I remember when I was about 10, I saw someone busking and thought, “I could do that.” Then, when I was 11, I went out on the streets of Glasgow and did it myself – I was playing a semi-hollow electric guitar with no amp and singing songs to the wrong chords, as I didn’t know how to actually play the guitar. I made about £50 in two hours and obviously £50 when you’re 11 is like winning the lottery, especially since it was 12 years ago and Freddo’s were still only 15p. Slowly, you learn and then it hits a point where you’re not a cute little boy anymore, your voice breaks so you actually have to rely on the talent. I was never naturally talented but I just persisted and it’s sort of how I imagine moving to another country would be when you don’t know the language – it takes a while, then slowly but surely, you adapt to your surroundings and learn as you go.
Do you remember your first time in the studio?
Yes, I remember it was my 11th birthday! My dad bought me a day in this kind of downbeat recording studio in Glasgow and at the end of the day, you would get a CD of that recording. So myself and my two ‘band mates’ from primary school, Euan and Andrew – Euan is actually still my drummer – went in to record a live session. However, we were just kids and we were awful. I’d written a song about a girl I liked in my school, and to give you a taste of the standard we were at then the first line was: “When I saw you over there, I thought hey you look good, then I saw you with that guy, then you looked me straight in the eye”.
Congratulations on the release of “Ghosts”! How does it feel having the track out there for the world to hear?
Cheers. It’s dynamite and I’m so happy I get to release music and do this as a job. It’s always quite daunting when it comes to actually releasing music. You want the song to be received well by you but also by the people you’re working with and who believe in you. So it’s great that it’s had some lovely feedback and people seem to be enjoying it. It’s one of my favourites to sing live as it’s a real building song.
And, it is about a breakup! Is the track based on your own personal experience with heartbreak?
It is and it isn’t. I’ll keep it quite cryptic and say “Ghosts” is about the vulnerability you open yourself up to in a relationship and the trust that both parties must have in order for it to function. It’s about what happens when that trust breaks down. I heard one of my favourite songwriters Glen Hansard say “the more truthful and honest you get in your writing the more universal it becomes”, and I love that idea.
Can you also talk us through the story behind the music video? It is quite an intense watch!
The video narrative plays on the idea that two people that had a past together are plagued with the feeling of the broken down trust between them, but the ‘ghosts’ of those memories and the conscience that they now feel are haunting them.
And, you have a sold-out show in Glasgow coming up! How are you feeling about that?
I’m absolutely buzzing. It’s actually my mate Dylan John Thomas’s show and he asked me to play on the bill – which is class and I was honoured to be asked to play at such an important show for him and his team. It is a sold-out gig with 1,800 people so it’s going to be dynamite. It’s also at The Barrowlands which is probably the best-rated venue in all of Scotland with such a rich culture, so playing there is definitely something special and bit of a ‘rite-of-passage’ for Scottish artists. I’ve also got my very own shows coming up in London at St. Pancras Old Church on September 16thand Glasgow at SWG3, Poetry Club on September 29th, which is extremely exciting. It’s going to be a very nice and intimate atmosphere at both venues. I believe they’re close to selling out so if you want to come, grab a ticket quickly!
If you could have one artist join you on stage, who would it be and why?
I’d go for Glen Hansard. He is my absolute favourite musician by a mile. He saw me busking when I was 14 and gave me tickets to his show, then impromptu invited me on stage to join him which really gave me the inspiration and motivation to keep going with music. It was one of those moments where the glass becomes half full rather than half empty. So, at some point, I’d like to have the full circle moment and have the opportunity to invite him on stage.
What is next for you this year? Do you have any goals you want to achieve?
This year I’m going to be releasing more music – the next single is slated for the start of summer. I’ll be releasing some live sessions as well and a music video for the next single. I have got my shows in September, which will be supported by another single and video alongside. I’ve got a few more shows that haven’t been announced yet to get us there, which I’m looking forward to. But 2022 is a year of building, I feel with the team I have around me it’s like the foundations have been set and it’s a year of putting the bricks in before I can live in the musical house full-time if that makes any sense?