Julie Hawk takes wing with the fringe

GALWAY FRINGE Festival swings into action tomorrow and music fans are well catered for with a feast of gigs to look forward to.

There will be showcases of up-and-coming acts; a free, day-long trad/folk festival at the Cottage Bar (July 20 ); a tribute to iconic balladeer Delia Murphy (Claddagh Hall, July 26 ); an album launch and gig by Sandra Coffey (Townhouse, July 25 ), and Cork ensemble Fred (Townhouse, July 13 ).

Leading the way in this stampede of music-makers is Galway’s own Julie Hawk who returns from London to play at the Factory tomorrow at 8pm.

Hawk is continuing to make waves in London and this month also sees the release of her new single, ‘Take Off Your Suit’, hailed by music webzine God Is In The TV as “a marvellously oscillating rickety twitching folk-pop tinged cut dizzyingly embellished by Hawk’s endlessly quirky vocals”.

‘Take Off Your Suit’ is available for free download from Soundcloud. It follows on from the impressive six-track EP, which Hawk issued in February and last year’s well-received debut single ‘The Value Of Gold’, backed by her cover of The Smiths’ classic ‘This Charming Man’.

The daughter of traditional musician Kevin Hough, Julie grew up in a musical household in Fr Griffin Road absorbing everything from Bob Dylan to Arvo Pärt and learning piano, fiddle, and guitar. By 2011 she had begun to find her own distinctive voice as singer and artist and relocated to London.

Since then she has been winning friends and admirers with her dynamic vocal style and ethereal lyrics. Her ornate finger-picking guitar style lends a constant heartbeat to her soaring vocals. Her lyrics are rich with imagery of life and decay, of light and dark, leaving the listener suspended in Julie’s world.

As one reviewer noted: “Hawk has a delicate voice that emanates from some very strong vocal chords. The result is somewhat paradoxically very powerful and very gentle at the same time.”

Initially a solo acoustic artist, Hawk is now backed by a four piece band, which has greatly broadened the sonic palette of her songs. Her musical cohorts are Matt Harris (guitars ), Chris Handsley (bass ), and Sam Campbell (drums ).

Tickets to Hawk’s gig at the Factory are €10. Julie will also be playing support to Heathers at the Róisín Dubh on Monday July 15 at 8pm, as part of Galway Arts Festival.

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