Insomnia provides the inspiration for HAVVK

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Meandering between classic rock, shoegaze, pop-punk and grunge, HAVVK have long been one of Ireland’s most original alternative outfits. In the last eight years, the three-piece have spent time living in London and Berlin. They have most recently settled back in Dublin – and last week they penned a third studio album, To Fall Asleep.

The record centres around frontwoman and Galway native Julie Hough’s struggles with insomnia and her journey to overcoming it.

Though it includes a smattering of quieter, more reflective moments, it is a pulsating and intense faux lullaby that has been carefully designed to suit live shows.

And Galway fans will be able to see that for themselves – because on April 4, HAVVK play Galway’s Róisín Dubh to close out their UK & Irish tour.

“It started as a personal struggle and then turned into a point of fascination,” Julie says of the subject matter on the LP.

“I had never had any sleep problems before and then when all of a sudden, I was having trouble waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep, I felt really confronted by it because I had always just taken sleep for granted. So, it started as a really personal, pretty traumatic first experience with insomnia.

“Any time it would pop up it really felt like the end of the world but after a while, something had to change. It really got me thinking about how, in a world where a lot of us are working so hard and a lot of us are constantly on the go, or we’re very exposed to news or social media and very accessible to people at all times – we’ve lost a sense of when we put the day to bed.

“A lot of us now go to bed still feeling like the phone is right there, still making a list for the next day. And it just got me thinking about how fundamentally that’s a lot on your body and a lot on your brain.”

Pictured: HAVVK…Matt Harris and Julie Hough, Galway gig at the Róisín. Photo: Niamh Barry.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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