Smidley was produced by Hop Along’s Joe Reinhart and recorded in Philadelphia at Headroom studios earlier this year, an experience Murphy describes as carefree, and a solid reminder of why he’s dedicated his life to the artform. “It was the greatest time I've ever had making, recording or playing music in my life,” says Murphy. “I tried to eliminate any expectations for this record and focused entirely on having a good time with it.” It was a needed break from the more serious and deliberate songwriting of Foxing, and a particularly grueling tour that left Murphy desiring a reprieve from more lofty endeavors.
The new project finds strength in the playful and unguarded approach Murphy took in both writing and recording as a result. “My favorite song is ‘No One Likes You’” he relates. “It's a joke but one of the more honest songs to me. I talk to myself in the car all the time and feel like a lunatic. The thing I loved about it was that it made me laugh off my insecurities in the moment.” Any hesitation cast aside, Smidley is free to run wild with its delightfully warped hooks and alternately delayed and crunchy guitars laid bare.