Familial inspiration

Postdata’s self-titled album was written by the Murphy brothers for their mom

Paul (above) and Michael Murphy originally recorded their songs on a laptop. They took an eight-month break before creating the record.
Image supplied by: Supplied
Paul (above) and Michael Murphy originally recorded their songs on a laptop. They took an eight-month break before creating the record.

Wintersleep frontman and guitarist Paul Murphy was at home in Yarmouth, N.S. and had too much time on his hands. Over some scotch, Murphy and his brother Michael created an album. Now the brothers are touring their album under the name Postdata. Paul talked to the Journal via email about the new project.

1.  What is it like working with your sibling on a project?

It is a really wonderful experience. We are really good pals and yeah, he was trying to figure out a recording program that he bought over Christmas break.

2. Did your parents play referee?

No, but my dad came down and asked me how it was going a few times. 


3. You have said the album, Postdata, was for your mom. What do you hope she gets out of it?

Well, she listened to it a few times and I think it is maybe a bit mellow for her, but I think she was happy that I spent the time at home working on a record and drinking scotch as opposed to maybe just drinking scotch.


4. On your website, you say the songs came to you in a dream from your grandparents. Can you describe this dream?

I had pretty vivid dreams after my grandmother passed away and the mood of the dreams was what I was most inspired by. Tried to make it feel streamy and warm & mysterious in the ways dreams can be. I’m starting to sound like I write horoscopes for Yahoo. 


5. You clarify on the website that these dreams weren’t “Coleridge-esque opium dreams.” Are you a fan of Romantic poets? Who’s your favourite writer?

I really, really love that period of writing, especially Blake, Donne, Wordsworth and Coleridge.

I think my fav writer is Don DeLillo. Jonathan Franzen is giving him a run for his money though.  

6. You said you began writing because you had free time and scotch. Any other items that help with the creative process?

Mostly free time and scotch. But yeah, I guess other things creep in. Other types of music, and art and literature. Hard to put a finger on specifics because I just try to write as much as possible all the time. 


7. Is there a plan to go back to Wintersleep?

These Postdata shows are just something fun to do, and something different. An excuse to get back home and play some shows and to keep busy too. Wintersleep just recorded a record, so we’re keeping a pretty low pro. Should be out in the Spring. 


8.  Do you find it hard to balance multiple projects?

No. I have toured this record for one month in total and I guess this will be one more week added to that. 


9. What can fans expect next for Postdata?

Not too much actually. I’m not sure if that is the best way to sell oneself to an interview. Wintersleep will be touring like mad so yeah, this might be the only Postdata show eva in Kingston — trying to balance the earlier point I said about not doing much. Add some hype.   

10. Do you have a favourite memory of Kingston?

Wolfe Island opening for the Constantine’s, and crashing on [festival organizer] Virginia [Clark]’s couch. My cousin John and his wife came, and yeah, just remember it being a really wonderful time in the sun on the island. I slept in a hammock in the afternoon before the show. One of the first notable festivals Wintersleep got to perform at.

A lot of fav Kingston memories actually. The first time we ever played the Grad Club with Wintersleep … the venue told us we could have as much Apricot beer as we wanted — it was a test tap or something … I’ve never had so much Apricot beer in my life. And I haven’t touched the stuff since.

Postdata play the Grad Club tonight with special guest Julie Fader. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. 


Paul Murphy, Postdata, Q&A, Wintersleep

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