The Murlocs Manic Candid EpisodeAmbrose Kenny-Smith dropped the harmonica for a hot second to answer our questions about his band The Murlocs’ fourth record, the marvellous psych-blues caper Manic Candid Episode.

There are a few references across the album to things unsaid. How do y’all ensure there’s clarity between bandmembers when you’re writing together?

The band’s songwriting collaborations are only within the music. I write all the lyrics myself separate to that. There are a lot of elements of self doubt and frustration with the world behind a lot of the songs. It’s all directed at these different challenges we face everyday. Whether it’s on the news or on your own doorstep, face up to the facts and adapt. Hate is the biggest weakness.

In reference to the lyrics of The Bigger Picture, why do you think people tend to confuse (or compare?) the olden days with the new?

Just when you think the world is on its way for brighter days, there’s always some muppet stuck in the past. People only want what they’re used to, not what they have to learn.

Also on that track: Tell us about the purr/meow we can hear right at the end, please!

Those sweet sounds are the iPhone recordings of me feeding my two cats Juniper and Cosmo. I felt like the album needed more sounds than other instruments. Next time I’ll have to remember to add in more ‘pet sounds’.

Spun Gun contains these single octave notes which repeat at mach 3. Does Tim Karamouche have some kind of automaton switch you can flip to make him play like that?

Those keys I believe were actually done by Cook Craig. Tim still tickled them ivories over the rest of the song, but Cook added a lot of nice overdubs throughout the record. Some personal highlights of mine are the charming slide guitar on Catch 22 and the string sounds he made with his electro harmonix guitar pedal. These last minute elements really brought the album together in the end.

Samsara Maya has a minstrelly, “gather ‘round and lend me your ear” feel. Aside from the clavichord, what do you think gives it that air?

We call this one our ‘medieval song’. It has only been played live once so far and it was upon a ship venue in Bristol called ‘Thekla’. Sadly no one walked the plank. We’re hoping it will get picked up for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Fingers crossed me hearties!

Manic Candid Episode is out March 22 via Flightless.

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