When Robb Murphy releases something new, we know that we’re going to be treated to the best that Belfast’s contemporary folk scene has to offer. He’s known for the meaning behind the music. Whether its April Fool’s Day fun or the nostalgia of prom-days, Murphy has a habit of creating tunes that resonate with real life. “Sleep Tonight” follows this tradition, including Murphy’s gift of offering intriguing video content alongside the music. Scheduled to be released as a single on 14 May, to mark mental health awareness week, with proceeds supporting The Samaritans, the song explores the impact of mental illness on sufferers, and those close to them. We are honoured to premiere the video here today, together with an audio link.

The song and its subject give an intimate insight into Murphy’s experience of mental illness. His mother, who suffered from a mental illness for many years, passed away while he was recording the album Sleep Tonight. Reflecting on her search for relief from her illness, Murphy recognised the importance of communication rather than suppressing the condition. The recording of “Sleep Tonight” gave him a focus and helped him during this loss.

The accompanying, animated video by Maria Bevcar narrates the issues of mental illness through vignettes of daily life and highlights some of the best sources of help – reaching out to family, friends and experienced professionals.

“Sleep Tonight” is a beautifully arranged piece of lyrical pop. Featuring The Ulster String Quartet, at six and half minutes it’s longer than the usual radio-friendly edits, but it’s worth it to capture the creative endeavours in Murphy’s music and Bevcar’s short-film capability.

The single is available for pre-release from 14th May and drops on 1st June. If you’re in Belfast, why not head along to 101 Donegal Street on 3rd June where the release will be celebrated in performance with support from Randall Stephens Hall and Brigid O’Neill. Tickets here.

Robb Murphy is already working on new material, so keep up with his plans via these links:

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