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Karl McHugh

Indie // Ballybofey, Donegal // He/Him/His

Karl McHugh’s folk/rock songwriting is a fusion of his upbringing in Donegal, Ireland and his current home in the San Francisco Bay Area. The retro-style folk music falls somewhere between the purview of Paul Simon and CCR, evoking a house party singalong vibe: fun, warm, inclusive, and good for a laugh!

Growing up, Karl had the advantage of having the family business, a video rental store, attached to his childhood home. Movies were easily accessible and from a young age, Karl eagerly helped out around the store. With a natural appreciation for stories and films, Karl frequently discussed new releases with customers and suggested titles tailored to their individual preferences. This passion for movies has inspired his upcoming single, “In The Movies”. The song explores the gap between what films portray and real life.

Karl’s recent Easy Life EP contains deeply personal songs inspired by his struggle with US immigration. In particular, the track “No One Told Me About You”, which documents his journey from Ireland to America, was recently featured on USA Network’s hit series “Temptation Island.” His single “Keep Dreamin’ ” – written as part of his Patreon Song Series – was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting award at The Great American Songwriting Contest.

His music continues to be widely recognised, appearing on several national TV shows and ad campaigns across both the United States and Ireland. Most recently, he composed the music for ‘The Pennsylvanian,’ a play by Jennifer Roberts.

Before embarking on his solo project, Karl was a founding member of the Irish-American rock group, McHugh & Devine. The band toured and released The Movie Blues EP in 2015 and the Emerald Hills album in 2016. The group garnered recognition for their songwriting from both Bay Area and international organisations, including Adult Contemporary Song of the Year (West Coast Songwriters Association) and runner-up in the West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest for their 2015 song, “Flame.”

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