Aussie Rockers The Murlocs Preview New Album ‘Bittersweet Demons’

The Murlocs have established themselves as a much-loved staple of the Australian psych and garage scene.

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The Murlocs Bittersweet Demons
Photo: Joey Walker

Aussie rockets The Murlocs have announced details of their new album, Bittersweet Demons, set to be released via ATO Records on June 25.

Today’s news comes with the first track―and a new video―for the album’s first single, “Francesca.”

“Francesca” was written as a celebration of the life of frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s mom. With music written by Murlocs’ keyboard and guitarist Tim Karmouche, Ambrose says of the lyrics, “The song is about my mother and how she had been lost for love since the separation from my father when I was 10.

In the last year and a half or so, she’s found love again, with a very close family friend of ours, someone who has always been a godfather and mentor to me in many ways. This has changed her spirit immensely for the better. You can really see the pop in her step as this enormous weight has been lifted off her shoulders.”

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Citing some of his favorite songs as being odes to impressive women―like Van Morrison’s “Gloria”― Ambrose explains, “Francesca is my mother’s middle name and I’ve always loved it so much.” Of turning his songwriting lens to his mother, and celebrating her rediscovered joie de vivre, he adds, “It’s probably the most positive, feel-good song we’ve ever done. It’s also the closest we’ve ever come to having an 80s phase.”

Directed by Alex McLaren, the “Francesca” video was shot at the end of April 2020. The band’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia was coming out of one of its first COVID lockdown periods and restrictions had eased for a short period of time. The band and director quickly jumped on the opportunity to shoot while they had the chance.

Says Ambrose, “I remembered being at a festival and bumping into our longtime video-clip collaborator and friend, Alex Mclaren. I had brought him back to our campsite and he played the song “I Love LA” by Randy Newman which ultimately brought the tents down and got the party started.” Newman’s 1983 classic soft-top music video informed “Francesca”, with the car footage being shot along Ivanhoe Boulevard in Melbourne where Ambrose’s mom grew up.

Pre-order The Murlocs’ Bittersweet Demons that’s set for release on June 25.

Bittersweet Demons Tracklist:

1. Francesca
2. Dangerous Nature
3. Bittersweet Demons
4. Eating At You
5. Illuminate The Shade
6. No Self Control
7. Skyrocket
8. Skewhiff
9. Limerance
10. Blue Eyed Runner
11. Misinterpreted

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