Some Praise for Dave


So many of the great songs are built  around a fab bassline - rumbling  along with the drums before the  singing starts and the guitars come 
crashing in – we’re beginning to thinks it’s some kind of formula for  how to rock. The Pixies were adroit  at letting Kim Deal pull the strings 
before the guys blew up around her,  Jack White has been known to lead  with a bassline on occasion and even the Dead Kennedys  used these moments to appear even more sinister than perhaps they were. A n d  w h i l e these guys all rocked, and some, they were never formulaic. So it is with Jim McHugh’s new single, a belter which seems to borrow elements from all these greats and more before spewing out something that is entirely his own. Dave has an almost industrial feel to it, Butch McNeill’s pounding drums - already nodding to Fugazi -augmented by little dings and rimshots over that menacing bassline by Paul McCabe. It all builds to a menace in this, as Jim puts it, “original story of misspent youth. Dave unveils my interactions with a friend who was known for being on the wrong side of the law on numerous occasions”. And Jim’s voice, a fine instrument in itself, seems to shift from role of whispering confidant to collaborator just as he allows himself to soar and Paul Sherry’s guitars crank up the angst. It’s a neat trick, this juxtaposition, and Jim uses it at all the right moments. 
So, an unformulaic formula for rock, then, and once it again it works. Dave is released on February 5 and album Pretending To Wake Up is out in May. 


I’ll start this review off a little differently. Man you are going to LOVE the chorus. It literally punches you in the face, which is hard to do because, by the time you get to the chorus, you are already slapped in the senses by the intro, verse, and bridge. This song is something you can’t not listen to. Like a constant hook, it just grabs you and takes you along for the ride. 

If this is the lead single from his upcoming album titled ‘Pretending to Wake Up’, then ‘Dave’ never went to bed. 

Ryan Martin

Dave’ is a rousing rock number showcasing a darker side to Jim McHugh’s sound. Spreading bluesy guitar riffs over a hip seducing rhythm ‘Dave’ is a wild, infectious banger. The verse wriggles with rich percussion, dark bass rumbles, and deep vocals from McHugh hooking the listener instantly. Then without any warning, the chorus swarms in on a wave of rock n roll bravado. Clamorous guitars, punchy drums, and a thrilling vocal display from McHugh ensure the chorus isn’t leaving your head anytime soon. Blending funky guitar elements, with mosh ready frenzy, ‘Dave’ is a blazing new single from McHugh. Love it. 


Ahead of his third album Pretending to Wake Up due for release in May, Monaghan singer-songwriter Jim McHugh drops lead single Dave today. Belying the quiet intro, Dave soon breaks into full rock mode, though the subtleties of Jim’s folk nuances are perhaps still simmering in the background. Despite having talents playing multiple instruments himself, the album brings a full band project for added impact. Dave is the story of a misspent youth and, as such, a welcome reminder of life outside lockdown, something we could all use right now. Dust off your air guitar and play along below.