His first album in five years, British singer-songwriter/composer Nick Hudson recently released Font Of Human Fractures. It is an encounter which provoked, evoked and seduced in equal measure; a haunting fascination that left ears and imagination alive and thoughts exploring one’s own intimate places.
Brighton based, Hudson is maybe best known as the frontman of art-rockers The Academy Of Sun. He is also a painter, film maker and has just completed his first novel whilst musically he has collaborated with the likes of Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Matthew Seligman (Bowie, Tori Amos, Morrissey), Kayo Dot, David Tibet (Current 93), Asva and GB Jones. Earlier this year he released the Come Back When There’s Nothing Left EP, a compelling taster of things to come within Font Of Human Fractures though just a hint of the full neo-classical/electronically bred adventure to be found.
A record described by the artist as “a kaleidoscopic and emotionally transparent document of the search for self-worth – and ultimately love – in a thorny, unevenly-stacked world”, Font of Human Fractures proved an imagination stoking incitement that is as visual in its intimation as it is aurally provocative. Scored almost entirely for piano and two violins, it is almost as it transports the listener to a separate realm of nightmares and dreams, a place within brought forth by Hudson’s intimacy of thought, experience and observation.
Surkov’s Dream opens up the quickly captivating experience, the track instantly enveloping the senses in darkly bred church organ and soon embracing Hudson’s equally tenebrific tones. Haunting and beguiling with a compelling edge of distortion in its presence, the track simply gripped attention with its single narration of an oneiric monologue from the imagined subconscious of Putin’s Grey Cardinal; the violin prowess of Lizzy Carey escalating its emotive presence.
Voyeurs Who Offer Nothing is next, keys and voice cradling the senses as Hudson’s just as fine lyrical evocation courts thoughts with again Carey echoing the alluring mood and temptation through her evocative strings. As enthralling as its predecessor, the song is followed by the electronically resonating Matryoshka. Bearing a Scott Walker-esque croon within an animated climate of suggestive synth and strings, the song proved thick seduction as it lifted the album further in dramatic incitement; it’s growing imposing shadows almost rapturous.
A song written by eighties post-punk group Room 101 which featured Hudson’s Aunt Mae Fortune, Tokyo Nights glistens on the senses from its first breath. Travelling across the world taking ears and imagination with it, the track bears the urban chill of the original yet brings forth the warmth and oriental animation of unique life with bold and striking textures and creative theatre.
The Ballad Of K6996 Roma follows, the track a thickly charismatic and infectious yet emotively provoking verging on stark piano and vocal bred concerto weaving richer enthralment through drama bearing veils of violin. Similarly, stirring unpredictability shapes its capture of the imagination before Teenage Hudson Summons Epona stirs further contemplation. It is a short instrumental written, performed and produced by Hudson when aged 16, a piece he salvaged from a cassette of fantasy music he had recorded and within the varied personal contexts of the album alone feels like its author is not only looking back on his younger self but engaging and conversing with him.
Featuring vocalist Toby Driver and bassist Kianna Blue, Come Back When There’s Nothing Left creates a fascinating landscape of darkness and light. It is dystopian and melancholic yet equally rapturous and elegant, a nightmare and dream entwined within something as futuristic as it is detailed in the now in personal and worldly observation. The track proved pure fascination and captivation, a favourite moment which continues to haunt thoughts as eagerly as it tempts ears.
There Is No Such Thing As You is a brief melodic caress of understanding and sadness which certainly stirred the senses before successor Dambala weaves a thickly atmospheric eight minute evocation of sound, emotion and implication. With Blue returning this time with mood imposing synth to join the guitar of Guy Brice and to collude with charm enriched piano and Hudson’s heart shared vocals and words, not forgetting the shamanic rhythms of Ash Babb, the track even in its tempestuous exploration simply mesmerised.
Brought to a close by the equally spellbinding End Credits, a melodic serenade which sizzles on the senses, Font Of Human Fractures is a wonderfully invasive and compelling encounter; a fascination we can only guide those with an appetite for experimentation and emotive craft towards.
Font Of Human Fractures is out now; available @ https://nickhudsonindustries.bandcamp.com/album/font-of-human-fractures
Pete RingMaster 22/07/2021
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