Róisín Murphy has returned after eight years out with her third solo album, and with it banishes a few demons in a way that only she knows how. ‘Hairless Toys’ is an expertly crafted slice of dinner party house music, blending soul and dance influences into an intoxicating and sophisticated tonic.

Unearthing the album’s roots in last year’s ‘Mi Senti’ EP, sung entirely in Italian, it is easy to trace a sultry European electro sound dominating the first half of the album. ‘Gone Fishing’ combines inky beats with twinkling keys, as if sound tracking an exclusive twilight pool party, while ‘Evil Eyes’ is all lugubrious 8-bit funk. As Murphy’s vocals meander beautifully, though, they unravel an increasingly political and class conscious voice, particularly on ‘Exploitation’ where she provocatively asks “who’s exploiting who?” Then, just as the lounge vibe starts to dominate, she throws in some twisted country influences in ‘Exile’ and ‘Unputdownable’ to keep listeners on their toes.

Understated, occasionally unobtrusive, but nevertheless a confident and stylish return.


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