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New Irish folk act Hibsen share James Joyce inspired single Araby

March 6, 2023

Newly formed Irish folk act Hibsen have released their debut single Araby, which is now available on all major streaming platforms.

Araby is based on the short story of the same name from James Joyce’s Dubliners and forms part of an album of 15 songs written and inspired by each of the stories in Dubliners and which will be released later this year.  Araby tells the story of a young boy who longs for the attention of his friend’s sister. Through vivid lyrics and haunting music, it follows Joyce’s storyline … capturing the boy’s turmoil as he grapples with adolescent unrequited love, the elation he feels when the girl finally speaks to him, his vow to buy her a gift from the visiting Araby Bazaar and ultimately his despair and disillusionment when he arrives at the bazaar too late to buy anything.

The song was conceived in November 2020 when Gráinne Hunt and Jim Murphy, who comprise Hibsen, were paired together at an online song-writing workshop. Despite the challenges of not having met before and of collaborating remotely, Gráinne and Jim clicked immediately and within a couple of days they had written Araby. They subsequently formed Hibsen and will be releasing further material in 2023. Araby was produced by Alex Borwick at Black Mountain Recording Studios and in addition to Gráinne (vocals) and Jim (guitar), the recording features the string quartet Musici, which was founded by Beth McNinch.

Gráinne Hunt is a contemporary nu-folk singer/ songwriter with a rich background in performance and songwriting.  She has released two solo records (Firing Pin and This Secret) along with Irish folk and ballad album Songs from Ireland with award winning guitarist Brendan Walsh.  Gráinne has sung with Glen Hansard and U2, has opened for Gladys Knight and Eagle Eye Cherry and has been compared to Tracy Chapman and Natalie Merchant.

“A natural performer, Gráinne Hunt commands an astounding voice that will melt your heart. No crowd can resist”, Declan O’Rourke.

Jim Murphy is an Irish songwriter and musician. He fronts the Irish indie folk band Blue Fish Diamond as their lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. They have released two albums since 2018, From Dark to Light (2018) and Frozen Stars on the Night (2021) with all songs written by Jim. The band is currently working on their third album. Blue Fish Diamond’s music has been played on radio stations across Ireland including on national radio and has also caught the attention of radio presenters in various European countries, the United States and Australia.

All press

‘It’s gorgeous’ Kate Brennan Harding

Song of the week  David Dee Moore Radio Show,

“That was Hibsen and Araby, and we don’t do a single of the week on this show, but I think if we did, that would be it. I really like that.”  The Readifolk Radio Show

“Obsessed with that song I am … I really am … no doubt about it”  Colin Kennedy, Kilkenny Community Radio

‘Look forward to hearing their album’ Fergus O’Keefe – The Celtic Show, WRFG

‘Great song there…. ‘ Paddy Mac, Dundalk FM

Tracey’s choice – Dundalk FM

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