Soothing. Unsettling. Challenging. Brighton’s Nick Hudson gives an intriguing preview of his forthcoming album
Release Date: 17th March 2021
Label: Self release
Formats: Download and streaming – including Spotify
Brighton-based singer/songwriter Nick Hudson has used the enforced isolation of lockdown wisely and productively. His new 10-track album, Font of Human Fractures – his first since Ganymede In A State Of War back in 2016 – will be released on 30th April and this EP, which follows hot on the heels of the album’s first single Surkov’s Dream provides an appetizing foretaste of what we are about to receive.
The name Nick Hudson may be familiar to you. He’s a well-known figure on the UK’s underground music scene, principally as the frontman in alt-rock outfit The Academy of Sun. And if all that isn’t enough, he’s also recently completed his first novel. He’s a busy guy! His music has received many plaudits and it’s been suggested that fans of the likes of Coil, Kate Bush, Danny Elfman, Nico, Scott Walker, Nick Cave, These New Puritans and Robert Wyatt will find plenty of interest in his diverse compositional and presentational offerings. Indeed, Mojo Magazine has described his style as “Scott Walker channeling Coil” and that’s as good a way of preparing yourself for the sounds on offer here as any.
Come Back When There’s Nothing Left is a 3-track EP that provides what I imagine to be a fairly comprehensive taster for the variety of the forthcoming album. Opening track Voyeurs Who Offer Nothing is soothing and unsettling in equal parts – a piano ballad, richly embellished by some wonderful strings played by guest Lizzy Carey – that immediately attracts Kate Bush comparisons. The EP’s title track was apparently inspired by the Clive Barker movie, Lord Of Illusions, a film to which Nick was introduced by his friend Toby Driver of Kayo Dot. It’s a song about taking responsibility for one’s spiritual and moral decisions and dealing with their fallout. Toby has been enticed to take the lead vocal and he delivers it in a slightly strained, cracked voice that perfectly suits the eerie echo-y backing; the song is challenging, interesting, alluring and even disorientating as it progresses towards its frenzied “You’ll grow” climax.
The EP is concluded by a splendid take on Danny Elfman’s Not My Slave. Nick sings lead and harmony lines in this soft, mellow piano ballad. A great song, well played and well sung.
Having listened to, and enjoyed, the teasers for the new album offered on the EP, I thought that it would also worthwhile giving the Surkov’s Dream single a listen, and I’m glad I did. The song takes the form of a narration of an oneiric monologue from the imagined subconscious of Putin’s Grey Cardinal, Vladislav Surkov. Built around a MIDI backing sampled from the bass pedals of the organ in St. Mary’s Church in Brighton, it’s a stark, melodic, almost ambient piece of music, and its overall effect is quite amazing. The single’s B-side isn’t bad either; There’s No Such Thing As You is a short, soft, intimate piano ballad that nicely rounds off an excellent short demonstration of the musicality and versatility of a significant talent. This EP is well worth a listen, and we await the release of the Font Of Human Fractures album with great eagerness.
Watch the Official – Ewan Morrison-produced – video for Come Back When There’s Nothing Left (the EP’s title track) here: