Pretending To Wake Up is the new album from Co. Monaghan singer-songwriter Jim McHugh. The third album, from McHugh progresses his rock sound in an organic way, never wavering to far from his roots he swirls together anthemic rock riffs with moody dark tones 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 (Electric Guitars) and Butch McNeill (Drums).
Jim McHugh’s new eight tracks bring a new dynamic and alluring sound to the rock genre.
Opening with the anthemic lead single Dave, McHugh anchors the album with this meaty stew of blues and classic rock. An energetic and edgy sound runs through this track with crunchy guitars, a barrage of heavy percussion and a rubbery bass riff. This tightly woven concoction of sounds produces a dynamic opening track that will make you want to dive into the rest of the record for more.
The explosive energy that launched the album settles as we get to Shut Your Mouth and Her Love. A free-flowing almost vinyl effect runs through Shut Your Mouth capturing the 1960s mod pop sound with a dreamy swinging melody whilst Her Love has a more subdued introverted tone. A wonderfully brooding slow-burner Her Love is a highlight on the record. McHugh’s monotone vocals carry this hypnotic melody as he weaves around a smooth gliding bassline and subtle guitar pickings creating a murky but heartfelt sound.
Showcasing Jim McHugh’s eclectic nature and talent, he dives back into the rock n roll genre with Hey Jimbo. This punchy guitar-driven track bursts with an unapologetic energy and thump that has an infectious sound to it.
Mo Stor, Virtual Bomb Drop & Sister Brother guide us to the end of the album with a staggering display of Jim McHugh’s natural flair for gritty and melodic song structures.
Bringing the album to a close with Such A Cow, McHugh combines tongue-in-cheek lyrics, with a Weezery bedroom guitar sound and a chorus that will float in your head (annoyingly) for days.
In all Pretending To Wake Up is an impressive eclectic cocktail of rock with hints of folk and blues brimming with Jim McHugh’s relentless energy ability and passion for song-writing.
You can order the album now at the link here.