Jim McHugh has today premiered his new album titled ‘Pretending To Wake Up’. Jim has that ‘wear his heart on his sleeve’ approach to his music. His lyrics are earnest and honest. His music, sometimes contradictory, ranges from gritty to heartfelt to very open stylistically. And that, I think, is the magic to his music. As varied as it is with each track, there is that overall style that is Jim’s signature. The hooks are many and diverse, but each has that special personality that is both comforting and commanding.
‘Pretending To Wake Up’ is released as of today on digital, CD, and limited edition vinyl. Get your copy HERE.
Check out our other features with Jim McHugh HERE.
From the Farney drumlins of Co. Monaghan, Ireland, multi-instrumentalist Jim McHugh brings a new edge to the folk tradition, blending traditional and indie styles with up-tempo beats. In 2016 he drew upon his past and recent musical experiences to record an album of new songs entitled ‘Noise Machine’, nicely summed up by Pete Whalley as ‘Indie folk-driven rock that has a vibrant beating heart’. Jim’s second album ‘My Nuclear Radio’ followed in 2019.
This 11 track album included the singles Avenue Road, Marjorie, Everything’s Cool and My Mandalay and was recorded, produced and mastered in Ben Reel’s studio in South Armagh. It featured Jim on Vocals/Mandolin/Electric Guitar, Paul McCabe on Bass, Butch McNeill on Drums and John McCullough on Piano/Keyboards.
In 2020, Jim released ‘Should Have Lied’ which was premiered by Hotpress Magazine and received multiple airplay nationally and internationally.
In late 2020, Jim recorded a new album entitled ‘Pretending To Wake Up’ at Black Mountain Studios, Jenkinstown and Wynne Wynne Studio, Dundalk. The album was mastered by Fergal Davis (Sinéad O’Connor/Muse).
Pretending To Wake Up is the new album from Co. Monaghan singer songwriter Jim McHugh. For his third album, McHugh lets us hear how he has progressed his rock sound in an organic way, never wavering from his roots in crunchy guitars and anthemic riffs but always developing as a songwriter and raising his game sonically.
Working alongside producer Alex Borwick (Parliament Funkadelic, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Niamh O’Regan, Lankum) and session musicians Paul McCabe (bass) Paul Sherry (Eelectric Guitar) and Butch McNeill (Drums), McHugh brings a new dynamic and alluring sound to the rock genre.
Jim’s previous single Should Have Lied released in 2020 was premiered by Hotpress and received national and international radio play. Jim’s last album release ‘My Nuclear Radio’ was critically received and album single My Mandalay featured on the ‘RTÉ RADIO 1 recommends’ playlist in Nov/Dec 2019, and was the ‘LMFM All Out Local Song Choice’ for March 2019. Single Everything’s Cool was Roddie Cleere’s ‘Song of the Week’ on KCLR in August 2018 while Avenue Road and Marjorie were widely played at home and abroad.
Pretending To Wake Up was recorded, produced and mixed by Alex Borwick (Parliament Funkadelic, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Sput Searight, Lankum) at Black Mountain Studios, Jenkinstown and Wynne Wynne Studio, Dundalk. It was mastered by Fergal Davis (Sinéad O’Connor/Muse).
Pretending To Wake Up features Jim McHugh on Vocals/Backing Vocals, Electric Guitar, Paul McCabe on Bass/ Backing Vocals, Paul Sherry on Electric Guitar, Butch McNeill on Drums and Alex Borwick on Backing Vocals/trombone.
Featured image by Brendan McElroy.