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It's all there in the voice, rich and inviting, a sound that can wrap around you like a blanket and keep you warm even through the darkest night.
It's a voice that lifts people up. But even songwriter Pete Murray was surprised how many people it connected with when his 2003 debut album Feeler went to No 1 and sales topped 450,000, six-times platinum.
Now he's back with a second album, See The Sun, that delivers on all the promise of Feeler and more, 12 songs that range from soul-baring intensity to joyous rock'n'roll celebration. And, as the title implies, it's an album that's perfectly suited for sunshine and summer.
The album was recorded with his touring band, now dubbed The Stonemasons, road-hardened after two years of spreading the word about Feeler, and working closely with him during the rigourous writing process which produced the core of the songs which grace See The Sun.
Murray has made the jump from playing tiny clubs to arenas and festivals with ease, and the things he learnt during that transition provide fuel for the new album.
First single 'Better Days' and classic-in-waiting 'Opportunity' capture the album's theme of hope and optimism, anthems that wrap themselves deep inside the cortex, destined to be sung by a chorus of thousands at Pete Murray shows this summer.
But the same might be said of almost every song on See The Sun, recorded in Melbourne this year and co-produced by Murray and Eric Sarafin (Ben Harper, Michael Franti).
'I wanted this album to have more contrast, for the rock stuff to capture the groove that's our signature on stage, for the lyrics not to be as dark, the tone to be more up,'' Murray says.
Mission accomplished, with positive vibrations rattling the speakers on rockers like 'Class A', 'Remedy' and 'Trust'. 'George's Helper', with brass courtesy of the Hunters and Collectors horn section, reflects Murray's love of soul music and his eagerness to keep pushing his sound into fresh territory.
'Smile' bubbles along like it's five o'clock Friday, the radio in the car is turned up loud and there's a weekend of promise before you.
'Lost Soul' is the other side of the coin, a delicate, acoustic-guitar ballad where Murray's voice is so up close and personal that he might be sitting on a chair a metre away, giving a concert for one. And 'This Pill', biding it's time at album's end, is both sides of the coin, with an intimate opening that builds and builds to a stunning climax. Like a summer storm.
'I'm really proud of what we've done with See The Sun,'' Murray says. 'It's been made with the right people, who love the kind of sounds that I do, who love my music and understand it. We can't wait to take the wraps off these songs and get out to play them.''