My Girl The River: new album launch at The Place Theatre this weekend

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The new album by local artist, My Girl the River (Kris Wilkinson Hughes) will be launched at the Place Theatre this weekend and everyone’s invited to the ‘band is back together’ party on Saturday (22 June).

You may already know My Girl The River as a family band comprising Kris, her husband Joe and Rue. They have reunited on ‘Songs About Space’ in a collection of singles and unreleased demos. The idea was sparked when Kris was writing the song ‘Spacewalking’ and then noticing a lyrical trend with references to all things space – spacewalking, zero gravity, galaxy, stardust, etc. 

With tracks going back as far as 2013, Kris explains that she had some songs, “languishing on the hard drive that were, in some cases, just vocal and guitar demos”.

A couple of other songs on the album had been lovingly produced over time, like ‘Spacewalking’ and ‘Zero Gravity’ and Kris says she’s so excited to share them with audiences.

“It was just a matter of finding the right project to release them,” she explained.

“Having released some singles over the last few years, it’s great to pull them all together on one album. Aside from ‘Space’ space some songs also reference physical and/or mental space so there is something for everyone.”

She says most of the songs were written as an observation of the human condition.

“Grief, loss, modern-day stresses, depression and even a good ol’ fashioned murder ballad,” are on the album and there’s even a track once performed and recorded as Cicero Buck, produced by Joe’s old ‘The Flys’ bandmate Neil O’Connor.

“Wild Ride’ is a favourite of ours, especially Rue’s, so we put it on the album to bring it out into the light,” said Kris. “It was inspired by a book by Cheryl Strayed called ‘Wild’.”

Songs About Space, the new album by My Girl the River. Image: Kris Wilkinson-Hughes
Songs About Space, the new album by My Girl the River. Image: Kris Wilkinson-Hughes

The most recent single on the album, ‘Helpless’ was written during lockdown but released in March of 2024.

“It really strikes a chord with people,” said Kris. “We talk after shows and share a teary moment. It’s humbling to write something that can affect people in that way. But it’s not all seriousness.

“The closing track on the album is a bonus track and is just me, Joe and Rue standing around a special microphone in our living room. It’s an Irish ‘jig’ sing-along and features a fiddle part by David Grubb. We got it literally the night before the songs went to be mastered, so just under the wire! It’s so fun!”

The artwork, which features a photo of an astronaut spacewalking is – quite amazingly, “Straight from NASA,” said Kris.

“I asked and they sent me a photo. I had the concept in my mind for ages. I’m so glad it worked out. Is there nothing more perilous, extraordinary, and isolating as a spacewalk?”

Kris tells me there are subtle references throughout the album to other great songwriters and artists: “Very subtle tip of the hat to Kate Bush, Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), David Bowie and a couple others.”

“On Saturday we’ll play the album and some favourites from the first two albums and maybe a cover or two,” said Kris.

“We’re really excited about it!’

You can find out more and book tickets at The Place Theatre’s website here.