Taiwanese duo Murmurshow has always been one of those artists that I’ve wanted to get into for a long time but never found the chance to. But when chancing upon their music at the Golden Melody Festival Showcase in lieu of the Golden Melody Awards last week, I fell head over heels for their music almost instantly. In a music scene where everyone is all about writing sad, emotional ballads, their music stands out to me for its authentic lightheartedness and sincerity. I think they’d be pleased to know that I believe music follows in a similar tangent to one of the producers for their latest album Peggy Hsu; overtly happy but not without its own special meaning behind every song.
The amiable duo (guitarist Shen Zhi Fang and vocalist Dian Dian) who won the Golden Melody Award for Best Vocal Collaboration last year once again name-tagged producer Hsu when asked about who they thought should win at this year’s Golden Melody Awards; singing praises of her personality and music.
Shen Zhi Fang: “Actually can we be a little bit selfish? Peggy. I hope she can get Best Female Vocalist, Best Producer, and everything else. Because Peggy was one of the producers for our album “Loving Proudly”. She produced two songs for us – “Valerian Root” and “Like To Stay At Home” and it was our first time working with her. We actually found that she’s extremely nice and – how do I say it – she has a lot of things that are worth you digging deep to find. Like you would think that Peggy is just all about fairytales, but she’s not just that. The way she expresses herself is very fairytale, but what is inside is worth you digging deep and searching for it. I think she is a very deep person, and very nice.”
Indeed, if Peggy and Murmur show have had anything to do with it, the duo’s latest album “Proudly Loving” is a work that is worthy of much more than just one listen. The pair explain the concept of the album and why all is not what it seems on the surface:
Shen Zhi Fang: “I think a lot of people think “Proudly Loving” is about romance, but actually our album is trying to tell everyone to proudly love yourself. We hope that you can first affirm yourself and love yourself, and then you will naturally begin glowing; this is when others are then able to proudly love you.”
And from interacting with the pair who are actually a real-life couple, I do believe that for them, this album comes from the heart. They shared a little about their inimitable chemistry and how it comes into play within their music:
Shen Zhi Fang: “No matter how much chemistry bandmates have, they might only be interacting for eight to ten hours a day. But it is very hard to know about every little thing in their lives. But because we are a couple, all the little things in our lives from writing songs to producing the album we do it all together. So no matter what, from just looking into her eyes I might already know what she is going to do next. And we will sometimes even say the same things”.
Even prior to starting the band, it was Dian Dian and Shen Zhi Fang’s connection that created a line of fate, drawing them together into a perfect compromise of co-creation:
Dian Dian: “Actually at the beginning it was just me and then he helped accompany me and then as we performed the audience would tell us ‘hey, you’re very suited to start a band together’ so we thought ‘oh ok, let’s try it out’. Because I had a couple of lyrics that had no melody so I just gave it to him to look at and said…‘hey, why don’t we try and write songs together’. I had a very romantic notion of music but this doesn’t match up with a lot of musical theory terms but he immediately knew what I wanted. And so he played the guitar and we very quickly finished the song in ten minutes… So being able to write together I believe is something very hard to find. Other people would be very lonely writing at home by themselves but him being able to create this album with me is really something that is very hard to find.”
But just like any other couple, Murmurshow don’t always see eye to eye, be it in terms of their creative perspectives on songs, or even potential collaborators. When I asked them to pick one artist that they wished to collaborate with, this was the hilarious conversation that ensued:
Dian Dian (DD): Like can I really collaborate with them or can it be like a dream collaboration? I want to collaborate with Khalil Fong.
Shen Zhi Fang (SZF): I want to collaborate with Girls’ Generation.
DD: You’re not allowed to! You exaggerate! How are you going to collaborate with them, tell me?
SZF: They’ll dance at the back and then we’ll perform in front.
DD: Then I want to go and dance too.
SZF: But… but your legs aren’t long enough [laughs]. I’m for real, seriously Girls’ Generation, we can do it.
[Dian Dian playfully hits him]
SZF: OK, fine. But I think it would be an interesting collaboration.
But although they may fight, they might just possibly be the sweetest and most sincere couple I’ve ever met. Their love for each other, and their love for themselves injects a welcome sense of comfort into each of the songs on their latest album, enveloping my ears with a warmth that is really something special. So, won’t you give their latest album a listen too?