By Andrew Goodwin
Hudson Taylor are Irish brothers Harry and Alfie and hail from Dublin. Born of musician father and dancing mother it was probably inevitable the young Hudson-Taylor brothers would enter into the world of entertainment.
They were busking on the streets of Dublin in their teens covering Beach Boys and Beatles songs and performing their own compositions under the name Harry and Alfie. The boys decided to upload music videos to YouTube which sparked a very favourable response. They then decided to self-release an E.P. of songs in 2011 but it was the “Battles” E.P. in 2012 that catapulted them forward. Such was the great feedback to the set of songs (Number 1 on the iTunes Irish chart and number 14 on the British) they were persuaded to move to London and begin a music career, within a year they had a contract with Polydor.
I first heard Hudson Taylor on a TV show where they played a snippet of the new song “Chasing Rubies”. This was such a reminder of Simon and Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers’ melodies of the sixties, I was encouraged to seek out more by this young band.
The first E.P. was released in 2011 under their Christian names of Harry and Alfie entitled “It Starts Here”. It contained 5 songs including the very quirky “The Arrow Song”, to be honest, very raw and understandable from two young lads so it is hard to be judgmental on the quality of the recording. “Not To Blame” is a really good song and the video on YouTube where they walk down the streets belting it out is brilliant. More than anything this showcased the talent that was to come.
The “Battles” E.P. in 2012 was the breakthrough for the newly named Hudson Taylor, after the move to London and sharing a home with folk-pop singer Gabrielle Aplin. The title track was an introduction to the dark lyrics the brothers can write but it was a superb track with catchy chorus, great sixties feel and as I stated previously, very Everly Brothers harmonies. “Drop of Smoke” is definitely a Simon and Garfunkel influence, and is a piece of class. Paul Simon would be proud of recording “Left Alone”.
In 2013 the first of two E.P.’s released by the boys contained the song I mentioned earlier, the brilliant “Chasing Rubies”. “The Cinematic Lifestyle” E.P. also contained the very folky inspired title track which also has a little psychedelic segment. The brothers are not just a sixties folk act, they also embrace new styles and the lyrics are very well written.
The second E.P. entitled “Osea” included “Care” and “Second Best” which again lean to Don and Phil Everly while the poppiest track so far, “Called On” is a lovely emotionally charged ballad.
They released a 4 track Spotify exclusive acoustic E.P. in 2013 which included the beautiful ode to their sister called “Holly”. Polydor re-released the “Battles” E.P. in 2014 including “II” in the title and the tracks included an acoustic version of the title track. Other tracks include “Written in Water” which reminds me of the early 70’s songs. The two remaining tracks are more showcases for the incredible harmonies and vocal performances. This band have improved lyrically and musically with each release. It bodes well for a big hit album that hopefully will be coming in 2015! One to watch!