Fazerdaze, AKA Amelia Murray, started a few years ago in the Wellington, New Zealand–born artist’s apartment in Auckland, where she was pursuing a degree in music. Murray’s path to her first LP, Morningside, is filled with many different apartments and rooms. Released on New Zealand’s legendary Flying Nun Records, her album is bedroom music in the truest sense—written, recorded, and produced in her home, where Murray says she is most comfortable with her art.
The term “bedroom pop” functions on multiple layers in Fazerdaze’s music; not only does it come from her bedroom, but it often addresses it, too. Murray’s songwriting contains the immediacy that comes from working out feelings through the act of creation. Much of that processing, like her music, seems to happen in the space of a room. “Are the walls getting closer as I’m getting closer to you?” she sings, conflating feelings and place before the release in the chorus of “Lucky Girl.” In “Half-Figured,” she sings, “In my room / I’m so consumed by things that haven’t happened yet,” enacting the “over-thinking” that she describes throughout the song.
Beyond those two songs and the confines of her four walls, Murray displays a self-deprecating, self-reflective streak in her lyrics that is oddly charming. “Don’t you know I’m shit at having friends / I’m sorry I can only do my best,” she admits in “Friends”; “I’m trying not to try so hard for you,” she sings in “Shoulders”; and in “Misread,” she asks, “Have I misread the way I feel about you?” Fazerdaze exhibits the same plain earnestness of artists such as Frankie Cosmos (for whom she has opened), who package the rich excavations of introversion in simple but impactful girlish pop. Fazerdaze is less twee than Frankie Cosmos, though, and some moments in Morningside even pack a punch. “Misread,” for example, backs biting lyrics with fuzzy power chords, and in “Friends,” a quiet verse with shaker and bass escalate into a near-shouting chorus over grinding guitar.
Not all of Morningside is tinged with self-doubt, sad reflection, and punches. There’s joyfulness in the instrumental swell at the end of “Last to Sleep,” the dreamy synth on “Jennifer,” and hints of ‘90s pop in the final song, “Bedroom Talks.” Murray makes pop, after all, and even in its most pensive moments, the album is bathed in sunniness. Though many of the songs are about the difficult parts of being a person in love (romantic or otherwise), they are love songs nonetheless, and underlying their various emotional journeys is the feeling that Fazerdaze lands on in the beginning of the album, that she’s a “lucky girl.” In these versions of love songs, we see the artist reaching beyond herself, way beyond the walls of her bedroom, into the hearts of a growing number of followers. We predict that it will continue to take her much further.