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Nick Hudson - Kanda Teenage Honey (self-released)

2 April 2024

With the singles “For My Silence” and “Khevsureti” beautifully trailing this latest long-player, interest was certainly piqued, anticipation heightened, and expectations raised ahead of its release. But, of course, there can sometimes be a problem with such outlier singles; sometimes, maybe all too often, they are the best tracks on an album, and an artist can find that having put their best sonic foot forward, what follows doesn’t always measure up.

Well, I’m here to tell you that none of those fears are realised on the intriguingly named Kanda Teenage Honey. In fact, once you get past this opening brace of singles that leads us off, things, and by things, I mean interest and intrigue, sonic adventurousness, and musical imagination, continue to meet and even exceed the standards of opening gambit.

Nick Hudson excels at many things, but his ability to write with such grace and eloquence is the hallmark that I admire most. This album perhaps displays his elegant and expert penmanship like never before. In a career of ever raising personal benchmarks, he is constantly striving to better himself. Here, that much is immediately obvious.

And that grace and eloquence aren’t always of the obvious kind. If it is found as a more expected form of ambient balladry on “For My Silence,” it takes on a more gothic form on “Hollow Man,” searing industrial fractiousness on “Sky Burial While,” and even ethereal, choral classical realms thanks to “Unspent Youth.”

It is an album that shares sonic territory with the likes of Dead Can Dance and Nick Cave’s more recent output, both artists associated with not only ploughing a very singular sonic furrow but making music that goes beyond the simple art of song-writing and ventures into soundscaping, of turning the usual pop elements into unusual symphonies in their own right.

I don’t think that it is overstating the brilliance of this album, and of Nick’s consistently mercurial and frankly marvellous output over the years, to say that if Dead Can Dance sit at the right hand of Nick Cave (or possibly vice versa), then Nick Hudson has earned the seat on the left.

Bandcamp and album order
Album teaser