09 Aug Caleb J. Murphy on The Power of Authenticity and Community
Authentic. Open. Honest. These are three of the pillars in the foundation of who is Caleb J. Murphy. His new album, Everybody Breaks, tears his last barriers to vulnerability down and forges them into the most personal album of his career thus far.
“I’ve mostly hung out in the folk-singer/songwriter box, but this new record is like a funk-jazz-rock-folk-rap mashup.” Releasing August 16th, 2018, Caleb J. Murphy self-produced and engineered Everybody Breaks, even giving me a tour of his new home studio setup.
“I started recording this album April of 2017 where I lived in Western Pennsylvania. In July of that year, my wife and I adopted a baby boy from Texas. About a week after we adopted him, he had a stroke. And it was the start of me learning a lesson: everybody breaks, so nobody can live alone.”
The family moved to Texas this past March. “I’ve learned that I can’t live alone. I need a community, a support system of folks. And this album is the fruition of that lesson. This record is a different and personal and weird and fun and sad album.”
“In the following days, family and friends helped us out in too many ways to count. We needed the people who showed up at the hospital. We needed our friends who let us stay at their house for a month. We needed the people who cooked food for us when we got home. We couldn’t live alone.”
A freelance writer, loving husband and dad by day, artist between the hours of 10pm and midnight, Caleb has mastered the craft of part-time musician-hood. So much so, in fact, that even started a blog full of tips for others in his situation called Musician With A Day Job.
Some social media tips he imparts: If I wouldn’t say it in real life I wouldn’t put it on social media. Try to use each social media platform for what it’s meant for. People on social media don’t go on there to leave that platform. Respond to every comment.
Firmly believing in the power of authenticity (down to a first person bio because “everyone knows I’m writing this!”), Caleb J. Murphy gives this tip to fellow artists with album release butterflies. “Self-promotion can feel weird, but you should think of it as excitedly sharing what you just made! It’s really freeing to feel happy about an album without worrying what people think.”
His wife, a professional photographer, took the album artwork for Everybody Breaks. The black and white vintage photography aligns with the lyrics’ timeless wisdom, and the blurry face on the cover represents the facade breaking.
Caleb first dreamt up the album’s concept based on his songs about relationships of all kinds. “It was like life said to me, ‘Oh, you want to record an album about how everybody breaks and nobody can live alone? Alright, let’s see you live that out.’”
“And I did. I still am. And now I’m 100% behind this album. The message, the songs, all of it. It’s a different and personal and weird and fun and sad album. And it means so much to me. This album is basically my life over the past couple years. And that openness makes it a little scary to release. But I think this message of community and relationships is one that everyone — especially me — needs to hear. It’s a reality we should all accept.”