The Austin Chronicle

ACL Fest Interviews

By Andy Langer, September 19, 2003, Music

Alexi Murdoch

6:45pm, Friday, BMI stage

Alexi Murdoch Inc. is wholly independently owned and operated. And business is good. Really good. With no label and just a four-song EP to his credit, the folksy troubadour has earned substantial radio play, a hearty Entertainment Weekly endorsement, and invites to Sundance, SXSW, and the ACL Festival. It might be cliché, but "organic" pretty well describes the Alexi Murdoch phenomenon.

"It fits," says Murdoch, a Scotland native who's been in L.A. since 1998. "What's great is that because I don't have a label or promo dollars behind this thing, I know that when things take off it's purely because people are digging the music. There's no hype behind it. None. It really is the merit of the music."

There might not be hype, but there is buzz. Last August, after KCRW Music Director Nic Harcourt added a demo of "Orange Sky" to his influential Los Angeles playlist, Murdoch rushed out the aptly titled Four Songs EP and watched stations like Philadelphia's WXPN and our own KGSR jump onboard. While a slew of Nick Drake comparisons have followed, what listeners and programmers seem most jazzed by is the sparseness of Murdoch's songs.

"If you can get people to listen to silence, you're actually giving them something," says Murdoch. "If you fill up all the space, you're not giving them any room to breathe or to imagine. But give them a silent moment between two notes, and that's a space for somebody to be themselves and fill it with their own music, thought, or feeling."

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