Monday, January 02, 2006

No Hits 1.2.06

The Midnight Year - Hudson Bell

Hudson Bell is about wheres and whens. Towns and cities, circles and worlds, nights and days and months and years. The main "where" seems to be the home left behind and the "when," when that place is regained. "The Midnight Year" maps the returning on an epic scale. And this makes it the perfect track to start the new year. Because as much as people talk about starting anew when the clock chimes midnight, they still have to deal with those nagging old issues, too.

I first heard the band's "Atlantis Nights" when Bars & Guitars (a blog where I probably find more unfamiliar music that I end up liking than any other) posted it a month ago. And I fell so hard I went out and bought Hudson Bell's two most recent albums When the Sun Is the Moon (US, UK) and Captain of the Old Girls (US). Dense with fuzzy, psychedelic guitar interplay, vocal layers and occasional piano swells, the albums are nothing if not ambitious. But also barbed with hooks that keep you coming back.

The real attraction for me, though, is Bell's vocal style (Hudson Bell is both the lead musician/songwriter and name of the band). He can enunciate words with such fresh unfamiliarity akin to wonder, that you'd almost think he's new to English. Maybe it's a Southern thing--Bell is Baton Rouge-born and spent formative years in Kentucky and Mississippi (now living in San Francisco)--so when he stretches words like "go" and "this" into two or three syllables, it sounds natural and charming, not affected.

Atlantis Nighs - Hudson Bell

New World - Hudson Bell

A couple weeks ago, Bell contributed a list of recently covered songs to Dusted's Listed series. I'd really like to hear that cover of "White Rabbit."


Blogger Jennings said...

Great post . . . I just discovered Hudson and planned on posting about them this week.

5:24 PM  

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