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Smidley, AKA Conor Murphy of Foxing, travels through hell in new album

Smidley is the solo project of Foxing vocalist, Conor Murphy.
Tim Gebauer
Smidley is the solo project of Foxing vocalist Conor Murphy.

Foxing vocalist Conor Murphy was eager to start writing after completing the band’s 2021 album, “Draw Down the Moon” — this time for his solo project, Smidley.

Smidley's "Here Comes The Devil" was released November 11, 2022.
Smidley's "Here Comes the Devil" was released Nov. 11.

Immersed, at the time, in an audio book of Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno,” Murphy drew inspiration from Christian imagery of hell, using the concept of a journey through the underworld as a way to explore the death of a friend, getting engaged and contemplating having a child.

“I was trying to repurpose all of that deep, hellish poetry, to convert it into something that was really sweet because at its core, it's not a sad record. It's mostly joyful,” Murphy said.

“I'm using the imagery of Dante's 'Inferno' and walking through the nine layers of hell, but also thinking about what that would feel like in kind of a happy way,” he added, “because I don't feel like something that is just blatantly cheery ever really hits me as a fan of music. I never really feel like when something is overtly joyful that I actually relate to it very much.”

Smidley’s new album, "Here Comes the Devil" is Murphy’s first solo album since his 2017 self-titled debut. It was released on Friday.

Murphy joined Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss the album, its influences and what Smidley allows him to explore outside of his work with Foxing. Hear the conversation on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or by clicking the play button below.

Conor Murphy discusses "Here Comes the Devil" on "St. Louis on the Air"

Related Event
What: Foxing at Delmar Hall (with Thor Axe, The Mall, and Shinra Knives)
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 2
Where: Delmar Hall (6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63112)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.