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Interview: Hudson Taylor

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"When you're playing live, when you're on stage - you just feel alive," muses folk-duo, Hudson Taylor.

It's this passion for performance and drive for something which feels authentic that makes them so enamouring.

Signed to Irish label Rubyworks in 2016, the Irish two-piece have been making music together professionally since 2011. What started as two brothers busking on the streets of Dublin quickly grew to something of a sensation. Previously referred to as simply 'Harry & Alfie', they took on their double-barrelled surname and thus Hudson Taylor was born.
 
From Oasis to Haim, bands consisting of siblings are often a recipe for success and Hudson Taylor are no exception. Hot off the back of their lastest single, 'Feel It Again', Hudson Taylor are about to embark on an a UK & European tour. The National Student caught up with them ahead of this, to discuss all things new music.
 
“When we're in the studio, we sometimes like to have an audience as if it’s a live performance,” the brothers confessed - “you can feed positively off their energy.”  
 
The element of live performance is what Hudson Taylor are “drawn to… over almost anything else that comes with pursuing music as a career. It's the most immediately creative and expressive part of what we do. It's beautifully spontaneous and no matter how well rehearsed you are you can never predict what an audience's energy might bring out of your performance.”
 
Therefore, it’s hardly a surprise that the nearly 3 year gap between the release of their debut album, Singing for Strangers and now was spent touring.
"We spent 2015/16 playing tons of gigs and getting 'Singing for Strangers' out there and promoting it. When that started to naturally slow down we started writing new tunes and recording demos for the next album.” 
 
 
With an impending new album, 'Feel It Again' is the first promotional single to be taken from it. A glimpse of what to come, the single is a fusion of folk influence and old-school rock’n’roll. Upbeat, carefree and hideously infectious, it’s a welcome return for the brothers. "It feels so great to be releasing music again. We were sitting on some of these songs for a while so it's a real buzz injection to our sets to play them live and see people enjoying the new ones and singing back the old songs after all that time. We did not expect 'Feel It Again' to have been received so well - we’re humbled by the reaction to it and very grateful for all the support from home.”
 
For Hudson Taylor, ‘home' is Dublin, Ireland. Having formerly been signed to Polydor Records, the conclusion of the record deal saw a move to RubyWorks Records - based in Dublin.
”Being signed to an Irish label means a lot. Since we started working with Rubyworks, we’ve been really well supported and well looked after. It’s so lovely to be working with a small team,” they acknowledge. “It feels like a family.”
 
However, had they not chosen to re-sign to another label, it wouldn’t have been an issue - “we would [have] just got on with playing gigs and recording music!"
 
Once work commenced with the label, the boys went out to the States to record album two with producer Ryan Hadlock. Best known for his work on The Lumineers self-titled debut and Vance Joy’s ‘Dream Your Life Away,’ Hadlock seems a fitting choice for Hudson Taylor. 
 
“We listened to some great music while we were making this new album,” say the band of their musical influences. “Naturally, that inspire the sound. We were inspired by listening to some 70s Zeppelin and Rolling Stones for some of production of the songs. Of course we love vocal harmony too and often take influence from the masters: Crosby, Still and Nash, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers, to name a few.” 
 
One of the big differences to this record is also Harry picking up an electric guitar. “It’s made a huge difference to the sound as a whole.”
 
 
With a reworked, yet still classically Hudson Taylor sound, the next logical step is to share it with the world. “It’s been nearly 3 years since we’ve played a headline show in the UK, so it will be really nice to play there again.” In particular, they’re looking forward to playing in London, a city they’ve called home in the past. They’re going global too - “We’ve always had a great time whenever we’ve visited of played in Berlin,” which they’re set to do in February. “A headline tour of America is one to cross of the bucket list for sure!"
 
2018 is set to be an exciting year for Hudson Taylor. As their fans impatiently wait for the second album this year, which we’re told will “hopefully” be released later this year, the duo are excited for what’s to come.  
 
Catch Hudson Taylor on their up coming tour here. Latest single 'Run With Me' is out now.
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