"We didn't think 'Drinking Guinness' had quite the same ring to it..." - Hudson Taylor open up about their debut album with hmv.com
Irish brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor have been inching their way out of the long grass for the past few years, and with the release next week of their debut album, Singing For Strangers, they look set to make a permanent journey into the wide-open spaces. We chat to Harry about the new album, early influences, how they came up with the album title and busking...
Now that your debut album, Singing For Strangers, is finally out, what’s the general feeling in the Hudson Taylor camp?
“Immense feelings of joy, relief and anxiety, to be honest with you. We’ve been making music together for six years now – since we were about 13 or 14. Singing For Strangershad been in the works for about three of those, and we’ve had a heck of an adventure along the way. It might sound silly to say it, but we’re just chuffed to be holding the finished product in our hands, and we hope people like it.”
You started out busking, and there's a good sense on the album that a similar kind of looseness and charm has been applied to the songs. In other words, I’m presuming you didn’t want to lose part of the thing that made people like you in the beginning?
“I’m glad you think it has looseness and a charm, thank you! Yes, we definitely intended on the production being as simple as possible, and not straying too far from how we sound live.”
Who were your primary influences in music when you were teenagers?
“We used to play covers of the artists we were influenced by a lot when we were busking. There are too many to list here, but they include bands and artists like Paolo Nutini, White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, The Beatles. Loads more!”
Were you the kind of teenagers that rifled through your parents record collection, or did the influences come from somewhere else?
“Absolutely we did - a lot of Beach Boys and Beatles albums were always on repeat at home. Our older siblings were always feeding us a fresh supply of more recent records, too, so it all dripped into our music.”
The reaction to your live shows are enthusiastic, to say the least – were you expecting the shows to take off in the way they have?
“No, we never expected it – we’re really taken aback by the response. We’re also overwhelmed and so surprised every time we play a gig, and we’re just so thankful that the fans coming to the gigs seem to enjoy it so much - it makes us even more enjoyable for us. It’s particularly mad when people sing the lyrics of our songs - that feeling never gets old.”
The debut album from any artist is always an important one – as artists, as songwriters, what do you want Singing For Strangers to achieve?
“We would love to see it bring us around the world.”
The album has a good title, too – how did you come up with that one?
“We loved making this album, and we wanted to name it after what we love to do – although we didn’t think ‘Drinking Guinness’ quite had the same ring to it! So we went with our second most favourite thing to do - singing for strangers. To be honest, it’s that simple.”
Hudson Taylor's debut album Singing For Strangers is released on Monday (March 30th). The duo will play live and sign copies of the album in hmv 363 Oxford Street on the same day. Click here for more details.