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What Róisín Murphy Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the stain-remover pen and the tongue cleaner. We asked singer Róisín Murphy, whose fifth studio album, Crooked Machine, is out now, about the cashmere scarf, mindfulness app, and “spongy floss” she can’t live without.

This is what I take on tour — it just rolls out the door. It fits on the tour bus, no problem. If I’m flying, I’ll decamp the contents into four or five bags. It’s just fabulous. It has the hanging space and the drawers for smaller things. I love flight cases anyway; all the little clasps and everything clicking together is quite satisfying. Knowing everything is so safe and secure inside is comforting. When I’m touring, people think, Okay, she’s got a team of fashion people, and it’s just not true at all! I tried having wardrobe people to assist me in the past, but it’s too fucking difficult. We don’t tour like Cher or Shirley Bassey. It’s a constant rotation of bobs and bits with lots of different hats and flowers and ribbons. It’s a bit much for most people — even I find it a bit foolish sometimes.

The more you find out about your teeth, the more you realize they’re just not up to the job of spending a lifetime being in your gob. I have a wonderful dentist, Dr. Hormoz Pourkavoos; he’s very honest and keeps me very informed. Not long ago, he put a couple of dental implants in my mouth, and he advised me to use this “super floss,” which is like a spongy floss for cleaning. The implant sits on top of the peg, which sits on top of your gum, so as well as having a gap between your teeth, you get a sort of gap under the tooth, too. These are the only way to get under them and keep that area clean. It’s a whole new world. I tried them and thought, Jesus, that’s what it feels like to have a really clean mouth. That, in turn, also transforms the prognosis of your implants; they’ll last far longer if you take care of them.

I got this about six months ago when it was really getting cold. I’ve been living in it. In the winter, I even go to bed in it. It’s a collaboration between Begg x Co and John Boothe, who is such a fantastic artist. I love the colours. A couple of years ago, there were a lot of neon pinks and oranges in my life, like my children and my boyfriend would wear a lot of that. But currently, for me, there’s a lot of royal blue in my life. I am a big fan of cashmere — it’s the best of anything, isn’t it? You don’t really sweat in it, so you can wear cashmere even in the summer. It’s a technical material par excellence.

My partner bought these. He’s Italian, and he was into dance music in the ’90s. So he knows all about that cosmic stuff (he actually had a pair of purple leggings at one point). I was already familiar with Alex Grey’s work; I’d seen it here and there over the years. But my boyfriend showed me a book of his work, and it blew me away. It’s fucking unbelievable. It is like being on psilocybin. When you’re on a trip, if you close your eyes, you’ll see Alex Grey visuals on your eyelids. His work is so uplifting and human and beautiful. So my fella always keeps an eye out, and he spotted these blankets. They’re direct from Alex Grey himself, so he picked them up. We have several of them around the house. At the moment, they’re draped over the sofa.

I got into this recently — during lockdown, in fact. It’s a resource including mindfulness theory, practices to try at home, and lessons on things like insight, free will, and daily meditations. On a whim, I started looking online for meditation resources last year because I wanted levity or someone who could remove the “mumbo jumbo.” I knew about Sam Harris because I’d actually listened to his podcast quite regularly. You get this as-scientific-as-it-could-get approach to mindfulness. People often misunderstand what meditation is; they think it’s about having “zero thoughts” or “transcendence.” There can be transcendence, but that’s not the point of meditation. The point is just attention, or consciousness. As Sam says on the app, it’s about existing on the surface.

I am very much about cosiness, whether it’s this or my cashmere blanket. I’m Irish; I come from a cold, wet place. Cosiness is key. I went out to Ibiza to do a gig over Christmas, but then lockdown came into effect. We had no real reason to come back, so we stayed there for four months. I’ve been going for years, but I’ve never loved it as much as this time. Dressing for the summer in Ibiza is easy enough, but January and February were hard. I got asked to do a gig, and all I had was what I’d brought with me for the initial two-week trip. So I wore my silk dressing gown from Viennese brand Fateeva, and I was as glamorous as anything. The products are made from reclaimed or repurposed materials, and the founders have an amazing way with colour.
[Editor’s note: Roisin’s exact model isn’t in stock, but we found a similar option.]

This is from an art gallery and jewellers in Mayfair, and I’ve done a few custom things with the owner, Julia. Once, she made a necklace for me by repurposing some giant prayer beads I found at a stall in Portobello Market. She then added in an opal that I had, which someone once gave to me in Australia. I wear the pieces of hers that I own so much. I like to know where things come from. For example, the whole diamond trade is so fucking twisted; they just don’t interest me. I read that as soon as you leave the jewellers, the value of your diamond has gone down by 50 percent. It’s a total scam. The jewellery here, however, is full of integrity, and the jewels don’t discolour or change. They stay as beautiful and shiny and perfect as the day you bought them.

From £69

I used this software to record parts of my new album, which was a totally new experience. It has opened up a whole new world to me, and obviously, during this past year as well, where people can’t get together to work or couldn’t travel to places to work with people, it’s been a complete lifesaver. It’s led me to try things out that I wouldn’t try out in front of people — like certain harmonies or different ways of arranging my vocal. I’m not a trained singer; I came into this with an open heart. But this way, doing it all myself, I’m not embarrassed about wasting people’s time or making mistakes. It’s given me a great sense of freedom. It’s really easy software to use. It’s very intuitive.

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What Róisín Murphy Can’t Live Without