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Nick Hudson and Kianna Blue – Photo Credit: Ka Mountain
Some artists happen to create more than others. It’s inevitable. And then some artists are so prolific that you can only assume they never sleep. And some are so good at absolutely everything they do, it’s jaw-dropping. All of this applies to brilliant British composer-performer Nick Hudson, who is always collaborating with other artists. Let’s see – there has been Wayne Hussey (The Mission) and Matthew Seligman (Bowie, Tori Amos, Morrissey). He’s worked with members of Kayo Dot, David Tibet (Current 93), Asva, queercore icon GB Jones, as well as Massive Attack’s Shara Nelson.
He is also frontman of The Academy of Sun, who released their dystopian epic ‘The Quiet Earth’ last year to critical acclaim. If that weren’t enough, he rounds out his artistic output by painting, film, and also recently completed a novel.
Today we have the pleasure of premiering his new gorgeous single ‘The Florist’, lifted from his new 8-track ‘K69996ROMA:EP’. Co-written with fellow bandmate Kianna Blue, this song follows the weirdest of themes but it somehow works and, being the fictive creation it is, it’s not as gloomy as it would otherwise be if you heard this kind of thing on the news. The protagonist self-immolates in a flower shop, and then ascends. Oddly enough given the lyrical content, the music itself is strong enough to summon a great state of bliss.
Here Hudson is on synths, programming, piano and vocals while Kianna Blue takes control and even directs traffic in this song, figuratively speaking, on synths. Created and edited by Kianna Blue, the eerie, yet humorous video was shot by Nick Hudson and Oliver Hill.
“Written as an optimist ode to self-immolation, ‘The Florist’ germinated from a chordal kernel Kianna Blue liberated on the beautiful grand piano of St Mary’s church in Brighton during the vocal sessions for the ‘Font Of Human Fractures’ LP. I watered it daily and added lyrics about a human animal burning down a flower shop in the hope that he might fuse with the beautiful melange within, thusly finding peace. It bloomed into glorious technicolor with the layering of many synths – our Artaudian post-pop song,” says Nick Hudson.
Not long ago, Hudson released a video for the lead track ‘The Ballad Of K69996 Roma’, which transposes a conscience upon the slick Alfa Romeo car that was owned by and weaponised in the 1975 murder of queer Marxist filmmaker, poet and essayist Pier Paolo Pasolini. The astonishing video was created by filmmaker Adrian Goycoolea.
Earlier this year, Hudson released the ‘Font Of Human Fractures’ album, his first long-player in five years and his first solo studio LP since ‘Ganymede In A State Of War’ (2016).
“Each song has its own story, and some have longer gestation periods than others. ‘The Florist’ came together with a certain deterministic inevitability. The first seed was sown whilst Nick and I were visiting St Mary’s Church in Brighton in preparation for what is one of the more ambitious live events in The Academy of Sun’s lifetime – the grandiose unveiling of The Quiet Earth’s symphonic and eschatological new sound. We were graciously allowed access to the Bosendorfer piano for the performance,” explains Kianna Blue.
“Fast forward a couple of years and everyone is in prison. Well, Lockdown, anyway. Everyone is going slightly insane and I’m trying to utilise this much needed moment of psychological deprogramming to write some songs. I find the aforementioned recording and send it off to Nick as a curio of “the times that were”, Nick has not lost his fondness for the piece and we set about remotely trying to expand upon it. Nick writes some vocals and an acid-fried “chorus”; I write that Blade Runner-esque lead synth line and suddenly we’re cooking.”
‘K69996ROMA:EP’ is out now, both digitally and as a hyper-limited edition 4-panel CD digipak of 50 copies, 25 of which are presented in an ACAB-silkscreened metallic gold envelope, with a bonus track in the form of a score booklet, printed on Nepalese floral paper and featuring an original miniature artwork by Nick Hudson. This and Hudson’s other music and artwork can be ordered at Bandcamp.
Nick Hudson – Piano, programming, vocals
Lizzy Carey – Strings on Track 1
Kianna Blue – Score transcription, keys and synth
Juliet Russell – Voice of Anna Magnani on Track 1
All tracks produced, performed and mixed by Nick Hudson
K M Abrams – Mastering (Tracks 2,3,4,6,8)
Paul Pascoe – Mastering (Tracks 1,5,7) at Church Road Studios
All tracks written by Nick Hudson, except for 5 (written by Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper) and track 8 (written by Nick Hudson and Kianna Blue)
Cover artwork by Julian Kenning
‘The Ballad Of K69996 Roma’ video directed by Adrian Goycoolea.
1. The Ballad Of K69996 Roma
2. We Darken Horses
3. You Eat With Your Eyes
4. If I Get Killed It’s 100% The Fault Of Alain Delon And His Godfather Francois Marcantoni
5. Amber And The Ambergrines
6. A Congregation Of One
7. Asymmetric: A Forgery
8. The Florist
Enjoy the earlier-mentioned film by Adrian Goycoolea, the new EP and the album where it all started: