“There’s a candle burning in the dark – always a glimmer of hope.”
This is what Mick McHugh strives to bring to the table via a career’s worth of songs – a glimmer of hope, a little bit of brightness in a sometimes dark world; in the words of legendary English troubadour Ralph McTell, McHugh’s music gives “cause for hope and optimism” – there is little higher praise than that.
Growing up in the Dublin suburbs as part of a big family where singing and music were part of life, McHugh came to the game late. He didn’t pick up a guitar until the age of 22, giving away his Polymer Engineering career, which he’d earned with a first class honours degree, in the process.
Today based in the hills behind Byron Bay, McHugh plays relentlessly, at least 150 gigs a year up and down the Australian east coast, building the skill-set which is laid bare with the first single, Not in Kansas Anymore, from his forth coming debut studio LP. The single was co-written with highly respected frontman Shane Howard of iconic Australian rock band Goanna. The song is a coming-of-age song and social commentary of our modern world.
Not in Kansas Anymore will be digitally released on Friday 25th August through ABC Music and coincides the music video release highlighting homeless youths and their passions for life. The single also coincides with McHugh’s upcoming tours opening for one of Australia’s biggest breakthrough acts of the year, Amy Shark, in Brisbane on 25th, 26th and 28th August, and Damien Dempsey, one of Ireland’s most popular singer-songwriters, in September – Brisbane 14th, Melbourne 15th and Sydney 16th.
“I aim to write songs that are going to do something for people. In that they’ll listen to them and come away with something that’ll hit them in the heart, give them something serious to consider… honest themes close to the hearts of people’s day to day lives, the hardships, and acknowledging the wrongs that I see in this modern world, all the while striving to offer that hope and optimism.” Mick McHugh.
Mick McHugh’s debut long player, ‘A Million Stars’ is due out early 2018. It showcases him as the well-rounded, matured singer songwriter and musician he’s become, that he’s spent the past decade refining. It’s a statement of an album, McHugh as an artist not afraid to address tough issues, hardships and plight, but at the same time, layering it in his trademark hope – for Mick McHugh, this album is just the beginning.
“Upbeat realism”, Sam J. Fell, Rolling Stone/Rhythms Mag
“Recently on the ABC television show, Dr Who stated, “That’s the trouble with hope, it’s hard to resist”. So it is with singer-songwriter Mick McHugh; hope springs eternal and it’s hard to resist.” – Shane Howard.
“A huge hit with folk at Bluesfest Cavanbah Stage” – Suzanne Simonot, Gold Coast Bulletin.
“Get to see him live, he’s amazing” – Damien Dempsey.
“You’re headed for some big things”, Tony Johnston, ABC Radio