Due for release on February 28, Sleep Tonight is the second album from Belfast based singer/songwriter, Robb Murphy. Featuring an intimate blend of acoustic pop and folk across twelve tracks, its simple and well arranged structure makes for a moving aural experience.
“The Darker Side” is a gentle and relaxing introduction, infused with a cool acoustic riff and soft vocals. The beat picks up when piano work and drums set in, yet it maintains a sense of reservation throughout. “To Be A Fool” takes over with a sound that washes over you, evoking emotion. The pleasant melody becomes particularly rousing during the chorus.
There’s a cheery hopefulness to “The Mysteries of the Heart”, as it glides along at a fast pace. The optimistic vocals have a reassuring quality that emphasizes the inspirational lyrics. “When Love Is Tangled Between Friends” is another touching addition, striking a nice balance between enthusiastic harmonica sessions and slow, acoustic verses.
It seems impossible to listen to “Headstrong” without smiling and nodding along. The irresistibly infectious melody that’s delivered amid beautiful string work is entirely absorbing. “Stars” follows on as a more solemn, contemplative ballad, while “The Best Decision” adopts an urgent, pressing beat that builds all the way through without relenting. This leads to “A Good Place For Us”; a mellow composition characterised by placid vocals sung over acoustic guitars and a subtle drum beat.
“Bound For Your Arms” begins in almost total silence before a reticent acoustic riff leads into a hushed harmony. Things gradually pick up as it unfolds, but it remains reserved, becoming quite haunting as a result. Its successor on the other hand, “Coffee and Tea”, is a carefree, upbeat musical number with vocals to match. This gives way to an ominous tone for “Sunny Mountain”, which carries an overall regretful vibe and features some stirring strings that grow to a large climax. “Sleep Tonight” closes things out with a more buoyant, but no less affecting sound. Sailing along through a steady rhythm, it’s made up of a thoughtful melody and reflective instrumentation.
As a whole, what Robb Murphy has put together here is a relaxing, congenial album that’s easy on the ears and rich with emotion. Sleep Tonight is a compilation of twelve accessible and introspective acoustic folk songs that are ideal for sitting back and unwinding. It’s a record that’s worth investigating.