Updated: Jan 8
Written and published by X
About five years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the one of my closest friends to this day, Maria Murphy, who also goes by her stage name, Lua Faye. We don’t always see each other, but when we do, it feels like we never left each other. She’s everything I love in a friend; sweet, free-spirited, and outgoing. I used to always run into her at parties, and every single time I’d run into her, she was singing to a crowd of people. (I’m not joking). She knows she has a good voice, and that’s why she’s always in the spotlight. I’m so happy to announce that she has another album out, and I don’t know how she does it, but her music gets better and better the more she grows as an artist.
Maria is mainly an alternative pop singer. (With hints of R&B influence like in her song “I Just Need Space”.) She conveyed that it depends on what track you’re listening to, for example “Cigarette High is very mainstream pop, while Goodbye is more bedroom pop, (etc.). Overall, her music can be seen as a hybrid of different genres. Maria proclaimed, “I've been writing songs since the sixth grade, my first was "Love Letters". I performed originals for school growing up. In high school I was "Miss Herndon Idol" for winning the talent shows, but I didn't get into recording professionally until I was about 18 or 19, when I put out my first track “Fickle”, so I guess around then is when I'd say I became a true artist, but I'm still evolving and learning.”
What does your writing and recording process look like? “I usually start by finding an instrumental and freestyling some lyrics. If the theme sticks, I can write a song in an hour. If it doesn't, I move on and find a different track. I'd like to cycle out of this and have instrumentals made uniquely for me, but this is just how I've started out. As for recording, my engineer is Nico who records at a studio called Sweet Spot!”
What inspired the album? “The first couple songs dig into my mindset, especially around dealing with mental illness and feeling isolated from the world. It’s kind of an introduction of who I am and what I've gone through mentally. The rest of the album is largely based on my last "situationship". From the songs “Bodies” to “Goodbye”, I'm taking listeners on a journey of what I personally went through. “Happy” was written and recorded the day of my breakup, mostly freestyled down in Richmond. It’s so vulnerable that I almost didn’t even put it out, but I love how it came together in a raw manner. The line "And I know that I should just walk away so fast, but I hesitate" demonstrates that even though we were no longer together, we kept talking. Which sets you up for “Cigarette High”, illustrating how it felt to be lied to. I actually wrote it before I knew I was being lied to! Like the song manifested into reality... kind of crazy. The Crash is a ballad about being replaced by another girl. “Lose You” portrays me getting real with myself about the cycle I was in for remaining in contact. And finally, “I Just Need Space” and “Goodbye” conclude my journey to realizing the toxicity and freeing myself. It's funny because before this came together, I remember telling someone I wanted to put together an album based on my last relationship and getting a cringe reaction. Which thinking about it, I agreed with, but then changed my mind about. Either way, the album wanted to be created, whether I was on board with being vulnerable or not. I just wrote what I was feeling.”
Not only is Marias’s voice absolutely amazing, but you can also tell she puts a lot of emotion and vulnerability in her music. It’s carefully thought out and tells a story. I’m sure many can relate to her situation and find closure with their own similar situations in her music, which is a beautiful thing. Maria continued, “This album in particular is a dark one, hence the title 'OVERCAST'. Sometimes listening to a sad song when you're going through it is exactly what you need to feel better, to help vent out emotions. I've been through so many ups and downs when it comes to love, I'd like to think that the reason for this is so that girls can feel less alone in their heartbreak... but I'm also making music for me, because I have to. It's who I am, it makes me happy. It's just as much for my soul as it is for anyone else's.”
I’ve personally listened to the entire album, and I can truly say that this is one of the most vulnerable and inspiring albums I’ve listened to in a long time. In the beginning, the album takes you to a place that feels broken and makes it feel hard to breathe. In her songs “Medicated” and “Swimming”, it almost sounds like she’s drowning, but at the end, it ends in more upbeat songs. Her very last songs are called “I Just Need Space” and “Goodbye”, almost like although she was the one heartbroken in the beginning, at the end of her journey, it was the man’s loss anyways, and she clearly doesn’t need him anymore because she found herself. Everything is there, from the passion to the captivating lyrics, I can tell that Maria put her heart and soul into this album and balanced it out through each song. You hear pop music on the radio with catchy beats and that’s about as far as they get. You don’t get a lot of raw emotion through pop music most of the time, especially with mainstream music. That’s why I encourage people to seek out albums like this. Do you take inspiration from anyone? If so, who? “A lot of people compare me to Halsey. Aside from our sound we're both bisexual and bipolar, so the pattern there is a little uncanny. The beats I used for this album were typed with Halsey, xxxtentacion, Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Blackbear, and The Weeknd.” What’s your favorite song on your album and why? “Definitely “Lose You”. Not only did the track so badly want to get made (it was finished in 3 hours), it's also just very sentimental to me, I wrote it as a letter to myself while I was discovering my worth. I guess you could say my mind was catching up with my heart. Some lessons you have to learn the hard way, especially when your feelings are stronger than your logic. Unfortunately, I see a lot of girls getting hurt over and over and remaining loyal. That was me, until finally waking up to the abuse and realizing it's just not how I wanted to be treated anymore. You have to cut yourself off at some point, look in the mirror and realize you're only in control of yourself. They're not going to give you what you want because you allow them to disrespect you while you continuously forgive their actions. This song is a wake up call for anyone in a toxic relationship. You should never stay with someone who hurts you, you have to love yourself more! Once I learned to value myself, I was downright embarrassed about what I put up with, but staying in that cycle was also my own fault. "Lose You" is a testament to the lesson I learned and thank goodness I'm here now. I know what I deserve, and I will settle for nothing less.”
"I hope this inspires women to choose themselves. The men who come into our lives and cause pain, are only there to teach us how to be better women by leaving them and never looking back.”
What’s a piece of advice you would give to upcoming artists like you? “If you love making music but you haven't done any professional recording, seriously just pick a studio and put the hours in. Even if you have no idea what you're doing and hate everything you make, eventually you'll get better if you just keep practicing. I know a lot of people who want to make music, but they're just stuck in their bedroom freestyling over their guitar and not really doing shit. Nobody hears you until you make a professional track and upload it to Spotify. You also have no idea what you really sound like and how good you are until you collaborate with an engineer. Finding someone you're compatible with is also key!”
Overall, I really enjoyed the album, as I do with all of Maria’s music. She’s crazy talented and puts so much emotion into her music. If you’re looking for music that will help you overcome a hardship like hers, or you’re just looking to listen to great singer, click the link below for streaming links to the album.