Kalispell singer/songwriter Mike Murray released a fifth studio album, We Are Like Warriors, in February. The timely new recording, with its searing lyrics, pensive vocals and articulate guitar, is available on his website, and via Spotify and other major streaming platforms.
He shares a dozen songs, and performs and sings on all tracks, with occasional input from Christopher Krager (guitar and upright bass) and Nick Spear, Jessica Murray and Audrey Murray (background vocals). Written in the winter/spring of 2019, this somehow prophetic album offers wisdom for the “beautiful mess” we find ourselves in.
“It speaks to our paradoxical human need to believe in a hopeful and brighter future while grasping for the nostalgic past,” writers reviewer and musician Amelia Thornton.
She describes the title track “a perfect artifact of our current times, a country divided by bi-partisan politics, social media comment thread disputes, racial inequality, and systemic failures.” With its shredding guitar solo, the anthem is “the battle cry of all who pick sides.”
Ever optimistic and insightful, he encourages compassion in songs like “Let Love Be Your Theme,” “Listen to that Sound” and “Maybe in the Wreckage.”
He takes aim at pop culture too (“Find Myself, Without My Phone) and goes for the big picture in the album’s final song, “The Long & Drawn Out Arc of History,” a reflection that humanity has survived trying times before.
“Like the protest songs of the 60s, he sings a prayer for peace despite the frightening circumstances in which humans have always lived,” writes Thornton.
Montana’s people and landscape have inspired Murray’s music his debut album, International, was released in 2011. He’s since performed in Europe, toured the USA from coast to coast, and performed at festivals ranging from SXSW (Austin, TX), to Red Ants Pants (White Sulphur Springs), the Crown Guitar Festival (Bigfork), and Under the Big Sky (Whitefish, MT). He’s been featured on Live From The Divide, and MTPR’s Musician’s Spotlight, and his songs have received local and regional radio play.
In addition, he keeps a full calendar of live performances across Montana.