GM7W RELEASES

STOP MAKING STUPID PEOPLE FAMOUS

Words, Music & Artwork by ©James Gregory Murray 2024, Production by Catalyst Production 2024
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF SENDING FLOWERS

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF SENDING FLOWERS (FLOWERS)

Words & Music by ©James Gregory Murray 2024, Production by Catalyst Production 2024, Artwork by ©GMD&L 2024
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF SENDING FLOWERS

APRIL 28, 2024 REVIEW OF "WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF SENDING FLOWERS (FLOWERS)" SINGLE REVIEW

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders’ stirring new single ‘Flowers’…

In a collision of genres and emotions, Staffordshire’s own Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders have unveiled their latest single, 'Who Would Have Thought Of Sending Flowers (Flowers)'. It’s the band’s tenth single in 12 months and is one that reaffirms James Gregory Murray’s position as a storyteller of the highest order.

The stirring new single blooms with a raw honesty that cuts through the intricate soundscapes, offering a cathartic journey through the complexities of human emotion, exploring the different ways in which people approach grief and loss.

When asked what the track means to him, Murray earnestly tells The Leopheard: ”It’s the end of a relationship tale of heartbreak and regret, I’m afraid. But all triggered by a good friend who brought a great big bunch of colourful flowers to our friend’s funeral. My association of flowers is not one of funerals, which I thought very unusual but also very fitting in an unusual way.

“I couldn’t get the imagery out of my head, for as everyone was giving mass cards and condolences for the loss of our friend to his widow, my friend offered her a great big bunch of flowers – in a strange way, it was quite lovely and fitting.”

The emotive swell of guitars, bass and keys are reminiscent of an REM track, while Murray’s vocals infuse it with shimmering resonance akin to a-ha – if Morten Harket had a soft Northern Irish lilt, that is. Murray’s lyricism is poignant yet uplifting, with beautiful harmonies that create a soul-stirring chorus that soars above the instrumentation.

But for me what is most prominent in every single one of the records released by Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders, but more so in 'Flowers', is the sense of community and camaraderie between the bandmates. This is a gang of friends who want you to listen, get involved and feel the positive emotion that is put into each and every song. When a close friend or family member passes away, it quite often has this effect of bringing people closer together – and that sense of unity and hope really radiates through this heart-torn ballad.

If you fancy feeling like a part of something really special and the opportunity for a bit of a jig, you can catch Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders at the Artisan Tap on May 4. Here’s a review of their performance the last time I caught them at the Hartshill venue – and you can listen to their newest single, 'Flowers', released April 26.

TRUST ME WITH YOUR LIFE

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2024, Production by Catalyst Production 2024
TRUST ME WITH YOUR LIFE

APRIL 3, 2024 REVIEW OF "TRUST ME WITH YOUR LIFE" SINGLE REVIEW

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders deliver third uplifting single of 2024 'Trust Me With Your Life'

Guest review by Captain’s Bar events manager, Say Something Music label owner and promoter Scott Evans

The ever prolific Greg Murray is back again, and once more shows his ability to write a perfectly formed up-tempo track. 'Trust Me With Your Life' is a life affirming brass infused crowd chanting chorus of a song with meaningful lyrics and heart; as Greg puts it “an attempt to give a nod to the injustices in life but trying to keep things optimistic” as demonstrated in the opening verse “And someone is to blame for what we’ve done, the promises keep coming till we’ve won”.

As we have now come to expect with a Murray song the brass is very prevalent, this time it kicks off the song in style, very much setting the uplifting feel of the song.

During the verse there is a really interesting ukulele break puncturing each line, this is quite unusual but works really well, and I absolutely adore the half tempo pre-chorus with its subtle piano and guitar line under the lyric “Holy shit / I’ve made a mess of it I’ve torn out your heart / and let it sit” before delivering the upbeat, danceable course.

One of the things I really like about Greg Murray and his band is that they write songs in a quite unconventional manner that most artists avoid nowadays, a good example of this is the song, finishing with almost a minute of instrumental, this must work really well in a live environment and it’s just really nice to hear on the studio recording showing the band are not compromising on their songs just to fit in with a Spotify trend.

I’m sure by the time this review is published, Greg and co will already be preparing for the next release. (Just checked, yep – 'Who Would Have Thought Of Sending Flowers' will be out on Friday 26th April). It’s going to be interesting to see by the end of the year all of the songs collected together in what would be a really strong album. In the meantime, do all you can to catch Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders live for this is where they will truly shine.

Listen to 'Trust Me With Your Life', released March 15 with Words & Music by James Gregory Murray

WHO HAVE YOU LIFTED?

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2024, Production by Mark Eyden 2024
WHO HAVE YOU LIFTED?

ALWAYS FOR LOVE (Featuring SHIMMER JOHNSON)

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2024, Production by Catalyst Production 2024
ALWAYS FOR LOVE (Featuring SHIMMER JOHNSON)

FEBRUARY 14, 2024 REVIEW OF "ALWAYS FOR LOVE" ST. VALENTINE'S DAY SINGLE REVIEW

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders mature pop perfection - 'Always For Love'

Guest review by Captain’s Bar events manager, Say Something Music label owner and promoter Scott Evans

The prolific Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders are back with yet another song, following the five singles from last year and a planned single-a-month for 2024.

Does this plan lead to a drop in quality? Especially after last year’s superb 'Wish I Was In Love With You' and 'The Pain & Glory'? Of course not!

'Always For Love' is another slice of perfected mature pop. Previously I have compared the band to Crowded House and They Might Be Giants, and that is to say they fall into that ilk of 90s artists who put out great commercial songs that were successful without having to compromise the sound they wanted.

'Always for Love' starts out with a lovely rumbling piano before tumbling straight into upbeat cacophony of music and instruments that have now become synonymous with the Greg Murray sound. Stabbing Memphis horns pierce the sound over a pumping drum and bass and it’s one of those songs that you are so familiar with by the end that you are either singing, dancing or both – and that is a talent that Greg & co have perfected.

The surprise twist comes at the end when Shimmer Johnson – a female singer songwriter based in Edmonton Canada – joins the party with her belting soulful voice and the song takes on a more gospel sound to it. It’s a great inclusion to the song and closes the track well. Shimmer Johnson has had successes in her own right collaborating with some big songwriters and her husband Corey is a music producer and is responsible for all the production of Greg’s songs for the last couple of years in his Canadian based studio.

Listeners can expect a year full of new Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders material and if the quality remains this high, it can only be a good thing. I personally look forward to catching some rip-roaring live shows this summer, I’ll get my dancing shoes on.

Released February 9, listen to All For Love with Words & Music by James Gregory Murray

ONLY AT CHRISTMAS...THE BELLS RING ON

Words, Music & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2023, Artwork by ©GMD&L 2023
ONLY AT CHRISTMAS...THE BELLS RING ON

NOVEMBER 30, 2023 SINGLE REVIEWS

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders have us feeling festive with new Christmas single

Guest review by Captain’s Bar events manager, Say Something Music label owner and promoter Scott Evans

What’s the point of a Christmas Song? Growing up in the late 70s early 80s Christmas songs were a staple part of the year, who was going to take the coveted number one spot knowing their song would be immortalised forever, to be dragged out and inflicted on a Christmas shoppers for far too many weeks. But let’s be honest we loved them! Even now hearing Slade’s anthem can still bring you warm memories of happy simpler times when having the latest Han Solo figure meant the world.

And then it all changed.

The X factor stepped in and ensured that the festive feel of the Christmas number one was gone, yes Simon Cowell was in fact the Grinch, and now Spotify wrapped tries to fill that hole that Christmas songs used to fill.

So it’s with a pleasant surprise that Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders deliver their second single in as many weeks. Hot on the tails of the superb double release Wish I Was In Love With You and The Pain & Glory comes the festive Only At Christmas…The Bells Ring On. The song has everything you would expect and want from a Christmas single, from the second the song begins those sleigh bells are ringing. As with the latest releases the song feels instantly recognisable, it has a steady rhythm that doesn’t give up and only builds as the song progresses. Throughout the song there are simple but effective horns, lovely vocal harmonies and backing vocals, none more effective than in the ear worm of a chorus. All the things that come to mind when you hear a Christmas song are there – you can imagine school children singing it on the last day of term’s extended assembly, or it being the closing happy moment of a Christmas film.

So the point of a Christmas song? It’s to take you away just for a fleeting moment from the horrors of the world and cement happy memories of family, friends, eating too much, the double issue of the radio times, proper snow, circling toys in the catalogue and hoping that you might just get that Han Solo figure.

Hats off to Greg and his talented band for delivering this well crafted Christmas song and gifting a little bit of happiness. Let the Bells Ring On!

Bethan, founder of The Leopheard added: “Ah well it truly does feel like Christmas now that Greg Murray and the Seven Wonders have graced us with a jingle bell, holiday infused festive feast for the ears. Whether you’re a Buddy the Elf or an Ebenezer Scrooge, there’s no doubt this heartwarming record will be the perfect soundtrack for putting up the Christmas tree and enjoying a mulled wine. With its bags of brass, bells and harmonies, this seasonal single is sure to but a smile on your face and spread some holiday cheer, which is often all that’s needed this time of year.”

Reads the article here: https://theleopheard.com/greg-murray-the-seven-wonders-have-us-feeling-festive-with-new-christmas-single/

THE PAIN & GLORY

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2023 (Production by Catalyst Production 2023)
The Pain & Glory

WISH I WAS IN LOVE WITH YOU

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2023 (Production by Catalyst Production 2023)
Wish I Was In Love With You

NOVEMBER 22, 2023 "WISH I WAS IN LOVE WITH YOU" & "THE PAIN & GLORY" SINGLE REVIEWS

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders’ latest dual-release sees band ‘at its peak’ - Guest review by Captain’s Bar events manager, 'Say Something' Music label owner and promoter Scott Evans

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders are a special part of the Stoke-on-Trent music scene – there really are no other bands like them. Their music is often uplifting whilst at the same time, deliver lyrics that are heartfelt and heartbreaking in equal measure. Their latest double release encapsulates that juxtaposition perfectly.

"Wish I Was In Love With You" and "The Pain & Glory" are two very well crafted songs showing two very different sides of the band.

At their heart, Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders has an Americana sound, but there are many different elements embedded within that, that they shouldn’t be pigeon holed as such. There are parts of the sound which remind me of They Might Be Giants, Prefab Sprout and Crowded House, all of which also had that ability to deliver big anthemic chorus songs whilst delivering an emotional punch.

"Wish I Was In Love With You" is an uptempo song with instantly catchy melodies, and similar to the aforementioned Crowded House, the band have a way of making a song feel so familiar to you that you are singing along by the end of the chorus. The production is wonderful allowing each element of the band to shine through. By the second verse the combination of plucked guitar, strummed guitar, brass stab and electric guitar chord are so perfectly intertwined, it’s a really clever arrangement. The chorus brings it all together perfectly, uplifting and joyous. I would imagine it will be a very popular live song. There is no doubt this is the sound of a band working together really well.

Meanwhile, "The Pain & Glory" is a stark contrast, being very much a ballad. There is so much going on musically – acoustic led with a gorgeous lap steel guitar layered throughout. A beautiful string accompaniment ushers in the chorus and then lyrically this is where Greg grabs you by the heart strings with “The beautiful thing about love is…”

This is such a heartfelt track which Greg wrote for his wife following a personal loss. Although musically very different from its accompanying song it does again show how good the writing and musicianship is within the band.

"The Pain & Glory"/"Wish I Was In Love With You" is a double single released by a band at their peak. The songwriting is of a really high standard worthy of a big audience. I look forward to what the band may have in store for 2024

Read the review here: https://theleopheard.com/greg-murray-seven-wonders-dual-single/

MYSTERY MACHINE

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2023 (Production by Catalyst Production 2023)
Mystery Machine

Despite it’s namesake, ‘Mystery Machine’ is nothing to do with the van in the ‘Scooby Doo’ cartoon. It is quite an old song that Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders have been signing out with, on lots of our live shows. It never used to receive such an accolade but we’ve since added numerous aspects of audience participation, so maybe that has helped in it’s set position. But I’m glad it’s our next single, as I always firmly believed that it should have been our first single. The reason not, possibly being, that some people just don’t get us - we’re the band with guitar riffs, keys riffs, brass riffs, harmonica, squeezebox, harmonies, all thrown into the mix on many songs with aplomb. I try to reflect the positivity of the lyrics with the positivity of the musicality and seldom hold back. In fact, more time is spent in post production, taking away the instrumentation from the canvas, rather than adding it!

‘Mystery Machine’ is a song that has grown steadily in my appreciation of it, over the years. It’s that song in our set where we always seem to have enough in us to supply it with the energy it requires and deserves. Sometimes this can’t be said for some of our previous singles with a more fragile instrumentation/arrangement.

So to put you out of your misery of just wondering what or who the ‘Mystery Machine’ is; let me tell you - we all have one and how we use it is up to us…it’s our heart - not the physical muscle that we all have, pumping blood around our bodies, but the mysterious machine that influences and motivates us to feel, love and express ourselves every moment of every day.

The first verse sets the scene of our everyday ineptitude of expressing those three little words that we all find hard. We’re bogged down with the same pressures of life that often rise in importance before we know it. Caught in the mortal coil or the clutches of life’s grind, if you like. We forget to live for the day, so failing to see the beauty in life, in people, in relationships. It’s taking that time out to ‘…stop and smell the roses’ that we just can’t get our head around.

“Can’t really say / Get in line / Haven’t got time

Caught up again / The same thing we / Get bogged down”

The pre-chorus delivers the ultimate pessimism that we should be making changes before we’re too old to appreciate what we have. Before it’s gone and the opportunity no longer presents itself; we should be attempting to embrace what we have, who we are and the friends, family, love of our lives and the life we’ve been blessed with, before it’s too late. But all’s not lost when we believe that the good in us, outdoes the bad - preventing us from feeling, communicating, loving and expressing ourselves for who we are - most of the time.

“The frail and the old / Less of them around

The good outdoes the bad / Most of the time”

The pessimism is turned on its head in the chorus with my attempt at some life affirming positivity where I try to make the song literally take off and soar (lyrically, vocally and musically) delivering it’s message to anyone who is willing to hear it. I threw everything instrument-wise at the chorus to make it rise in optimism - cliché driven, I know, but I hope it gets the message across in its brash and optimistic grandeur.

“The mystery machine is our / Energy

The greatest love / We’ll ever have / You and me”

The title of the song was originally going to be “You & Me” but I already had that working title on another song, so I went for the more obvious “Mystery Machine” which I think delivers a more obscure title with listener’s wondering what the song is about, etc. I love a good out-of-focus, cryptic lyric/title, which comes clear when you take the listener through the journey of what’s going on in the songwriters’ head.

The second verse addresses the ‘love at first sight’ cliche, which we’ve all experienced at least once in a lifetime. But it’s whether we react on it and do something about it, that counts. We risk failing on all counts, don’t we - but is it worth the gamble? But that’s the beauty of it - we won’t know til we’re knee deep but at least what might have been never enters our heads. It’s always worth the gamble for we’ll never know unless we take that leap of faith and sure what have we got to lose.

“Your glance / Makes it all / Worth my while / I can’t fail

Fall by the way / Side I go / One more time”

It’s a song about faith, hope, love, optimism and turning away from ever letting regret fill our psyche. I’m hoping the optimism comes across in the arrangement of brass and guitar riffs emulating the positivity of spirit and the heart over-ruling the head in making any decisions of the heart in this life. Love moves in mysterious ways. Go on, take that chance, for you never know when anything like it, will ever come along again.

James Gregory Murray

OCTOBER 18, 2023 SINGLE REVIEWS - Review by Bethan Shufflebotham 181023

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders deliver life-affirming new single "Mystery Machine" Despite its namesake, the latest single from Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders – Mystery Machine – has nothing to do with the iconic van in the Scooby Doo cartoon, but instead is one from the band’s extensive back catalogue and a longstanding live show ‘sign off’ that has finally been released as a record.

“I always firmly believed that it should have been our first single,” said Greg – the frontman of this wonderfully cheerful band that defies genre. “The reason, not possibly, being that some people just don’t get us,” he added.

Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders are a spectacle to behold, like the Great Wall of China or Petra. The eight-piece Irish/Americana indie rock supergroup fuses the twang of Americana, with latino, with ‘death country’, with brash and anthemic choruses, all played at 100 miles an hour with more enthusiasm than an eight-year-old at Alton Towers.

“We’re the band with guitar riffs, keys riffs, brass riffs, harmonica, squeezebox, harmonies, all thrown into the mix on many songs with aplomb. I try to reflect the positivity of the lyrics with the positivity of the musicality and seldom hold back,” Greg continues.

Mystery Machine does anything but hold back, and feels like the perfect track to sum up everything that Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders is about. The track bursts to life with a vibrant arrangement before it’s met with Greg’s charming vocals and vivacious energy as he describes the ups and downs of human existence in the most life-affirming way.

“I love a good out-of-focus, cryptic lyric/title, which comes clear when you take the listener through the journey of what’s going on in the songwriters’ head,” Greg tells The Leopheard. “So to put you out of your misery of just wondering what or who the ‘Mystery Machine’ is; let me tell you – we all have one and how we use it is up to us…it’s our heart – not the physical muscle that we all have, pumping blood around our bodies, but the mysterious machine that influences and motivates us to feel, love and express ourselves every moment of every day.”

A lyrical rollercoaster, listeners strap in as Greg describes the habit of getting caught up in life’s daily grind and how we can often forget to live for the day or to stop and smell the roses. There are moments of ultimate pessimism in the pre-chorus, but this is simply to provide the momentum required to reach the soaring heights of the chorus which vibrates with optimism lyrically, vocally and musically, mirroring the ups and downs of life itself.

The instrumentation is a carnival, boasting guitar riffs, keys and brass, in the band’s usual brash and optimistic grandeur, continuing to evade categorisation with a sound that is distinctive and unique to the band.

Heartwarming and sincere life advice delivered at breakneck pace, Mystery Machine is yet another track that makes you want to laugh, dance and sing. Emerging as a beacon of positivity, it’s the sonic equivalent of the latin phrase Carpe Diem, with Greg Murray & The Seven Wonders delivering its message to anyone who is willing to hear it. It’s a song that advocates for faith, hope and love, serving as an encouragement to take risks and never live in regret, reminding us that ‘the good outweighs the bad, most of the time’.

“Go on, take that chance, for you never know when anything like it will ever come along again,” – James Gregory Murray.

Listen to Mystery Machine here on Spotify NOW and read the article here:

https://theleopheard.com/greg-murray-seven-wonders-mystery-machine/

BOUGHT A RING (REMIX)

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2022
Bought a Ring - Remix

WORLD STEALER

Words, Music, Artwork & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2021 (Production by Catalyst Production 2021)
World Stealer

BOUGHT A RING

Words, Music & Video by ©James Gregory Murray 2020, Artwork by ©GMD&L 2020 (Production by Catalyst Production 2020)
Bought a Ring