Album Review: Jim McHugh – My Nuclear Radio

My Nuclear Radio is the fascinating new album from dynamic multi-instrumentalist Jim McHugh who has been receiving steady radio play over the last couple of years since the release of Noise Machine back in 2016.

His steady stream of singles have all been played nationally and internationally and he has garnered himself a wide cross-section of fans from across the globe. McHugh’s music is one of those fascinating hybrids of sound where it feels as though everything is in but the kitchen sink. The result however is that it never comes across as overly busy as far as a collection of sounds go; but instead it appears as though McHugh has carefully crafted a series of melodies that each compliment the others perfectly as he expertly blends gospel and country, folk and blues and rock and traditional. McHugh has a wealth of genres that he has carefully infused with one-another and yet his every song seems so delicately balanced.

As though he is dancing on the end of a knife, McHugh has a stunning aptitude when it comes to his music as it comes across as intrinsically complicated but also the most natural and effortless thing in the world. His nonchalant mannerisms and calm and collected vocals provide a soul-soothing collection that leave you relaxed and transposed into some other alternate plain. McHugh also has a strong tie to Indie music and with My Nuclear Radio he’s expanded on this and with every track it feels as though you can see the gears shifting in his head. At times, especially with songs like Shadow Sun, it feels as though his music wouldn’t be out of place in something like Life is Strange. It’s the right level of laid-back to leave you relaxed and yet have something tugging at the edges of your heart.

My Nuclear Radio might be a soft and even sombre affair but there is something so beautifully heartfelt within it. No matter the weather, there is something within McHugh’s work that warms you to the core like a fire in the depths of winter. It’s a charmed and tender album that can wash away your woes with a few choice chords.


Review by Joe Knipe


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