Nashalia Ferrara, Editor-in-Chief
March 5th, 2017
Morgan Murphy ‘18 is one of my favorite people, and I might be a little bit biased because she also happens to be one of my great friends. Last week, we sat down in Stimson’s dining hall to have some dinner and catch up with each other. Murphy and her band, Mothpuppy, have been up to some pretty exciting stuff. At just 22 years old, she recently released a single, “Flea”, and has an album on the way.
After our dinner, Murphy stopped by my room and gave me the exclusive.
NF: What is going on with Morgan and Mothpuppy right now?
MM: Mothpuppy is releasing an album called Cool and Pretty on March 10, ya got that? We recorded it in August at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia with Kyle Pulley and Joe Reinhart.
NF: Your single came out today?
MM: Yes! So our single is “Flea”, and it’s about fleas.
NF: Why is this the single? Is it your favorite song on the album?
MM: I don’t know if it’s my favorite song on the album, but it’s a lot people’s. I think it’s a good length and pretty simple, which makes for a good single.
NF: Where can your fans listen to “Flea”?
MM: It’s streaming on Sad Cactus Records’ SoundCloud.
NF: Is it true that you’re 22 and you have a record deal?
MM: umm, I mean- I wouldn’t say that. I’m in association with a small record company, a very good record company, Sad Cactus.
NF: How many songs are on the album? And which one is your favorite?
MM: There are 11 songs on the album. I like “Basketball Court” because we do some weird stuff, and I feel like it’s a good collaboration of all the band members’ talents.
NF: If your album were in stores, which genre would I find it under?
MM: I don’t remember the aisles anymore. I haven’t been to a record store in a while. Whenever I bring a song to the group, it really transforms into something that I’m not really quite sure what to call. We all have different musical backgrounds.
NF: Who is in the band?
MM: Shawn Durham ‘18 plays drums, Rebecca Willis ‘17 plays guitar, Ryan Vieria ‘16 plays the bass, and Becca Kotula ‘17 plays the violin.
NF: Do you write all your songs?
MM: Yes, me, Morgan, writes them all.
NF: You write all of them? Really?
MM: I write all of the base parts, like the chord structure and the lyrics and the melodies. Usually, I’ll write a song on the guitar and then bring it to the band. They take it from there and play what goes well with what I wrote.
NF: What’s harder, writing a short piece of fiction or writing a song? (Murphy is an English Major)
MM: It depends, sometimes it’s really easy writing a song. It can take as fast as the song is itself, and other times, I take a really long time and sit on a guitar part for months and months. That might have a lot do with procrastination, though. Fiction writing people make me write so…
NF: Why release your album on a cassette?
MM: Really just because we can’t do vinyl because our songs aren’t mastered, and we’re not that popular. [Vinyl] is super expensive, so we’re not doing that right now. There’s a market out for tapes because they are cheaper than CDs and more people like them because you can’t burn them and artists can customize the color. There is something appealing about them, right? It took a long time to decide, but our album will be on a gray cassette because it goes well with the album art.
NF: Where can I buy the physical album?
MM: You can preorder the cassette on sadcactus.us and you can also buy the digital album on March 10 through that website.
NF: So say a Goucher student stops you on Van Meter and asks you to sign their copy of Cool & Pretty, would you sign it?
MM: Yes, but I’ll never offer.
NF: When did you know that you were good at making music?
MM: Wow, what a question! I still don’t know. I still don’t know how cool the music is or how much people like it.
NF: Quickly can you explain the name Mothpuppy?
MM: Oh my god, it doesn’t mean anything. It was a mistake and I want to change it but it’s too late. It’s just silly and lifted from my snapchat name. Freshman year, people thought it was funny so they started calling me it.
NF: Cool & Pretty is the name of the album, why?
MM: There’s another single on the album, “Basketball Court”, which is coming out next, but yeah, it’s a line from that song.
NF: What’s the line?
MM: “I think about that in mysterious ways / I spend the time trying to know what to say / I lay in bed and waste half the day / he told me I was cool and pretty, cool and pretty, cool and pretty.” And it’s kind of just about putting more effort in a relationship. When you spend a lot time trying to find the perfect thing to say to people who mean a lot to you, and they come back with the most simple thing.
NF: That’s heartbreaking. Like they didn’t think hard enough?
MM: Yeah, basically, like “cool and pretty” isn’t really that hard to come up with. I could’ve said that too. It doesn’t really sound like much thought went through it, you know?
NF: What’s the theme of the album?
MM: Well, it was going to be called Housewife because a lot of the songs either put me in the position of singing to a child or sympathizing with the feeling of being like you need to devote yourself to something or someone. But that’s not the only theme, there are also songs about body image and identity.
Before Murphy returned to her rockstar life, I asked her a series of “quick fire” questions.
NF: Do you sing your own songs in the shower?
MM: Haha, I sing other people’s songs or I make up silly, new songs. That’s embarassing.
NF: Thoughts on “Happy Birthday” ?
MM: Overwhelming and repetitive.
NF: Taylor Swift?
MM: I just don’t know…
NF: Spotify or Apply Music?
NF: Headphones, earbuds or speakers?
MM: Headphones, I like feeling immersed.
NF: An artist you were obsessed with in middle school?
MM: Green Day, and I still am. If you can get me to open for Green Day, I would kill for you!
NF: What instrument do you wish you could play?
NF: Least favorite noise?
MM: Oh god, I have a lot of noises I don’t like, but probably when there are too many people talking and the white noise that it all creates. It’s very bothersome.
NF: Most underrated artist?
MM: I don’t know; I told you not to ask me about my music taste, and this kinda falls under that.
NF: Most overrated artist?
MM: I can think of a lot but I don’t want to be mean.
Morgan Murphy is cool and pretty. Her band’s music is cool and pretty, but as she said, those words are too easy. They don’t capture Murphy, her short green hair, and all her glory just right. Murphy is talented beyond measure. On stage, her voice can get really loud but still sound as if it’s made of glass. The words she uses in her songs, stories, and conversations seem to be carefully chosen with a huge amount of thought behind them. She is the kind of person you leave Stimson and all its buzzing white noise to hear exactly what she has to say.
Like Mothpuppy on Facebook to see when they’re playing next.
Listen to Mothpuppy’s single “Flea” here: https://soundcloud.com/sadcactusrecords/mothpuppy-flea