For their eighth studio album, The 4 Of Us return thematically, if not geographically, to their hometown. Sugar Island mostly concerns itself with Brendan and Declan Murphy’s childhood in Newry, Co. Down. The title is one of several landmarks referenced by the brothers in songs such as Going South and Hometown on the Border, the latter’s mention of ‘soldiers tapping their heels’ being especially evocative. Nostalgia suits the Murphys’ low-key, mainly acoustic folk-pop approach. The gentle flutter of ’73 is easy on the ear, while the brisk rumble of The Little Things and the wistful River Flows are doused in a gauzy hue as comforting as an old family photo album.
Lauren Murphy SUNDAY TIMES