The next EP from Irish band Hudson Taylor, led by brothers Harry and Alfie, is out on March 23. Burst takes a look at the Feel It Again EP and why you need to add it to your playlist as soon as it's released. You can pre-order it here, and book tickets for their upcoming UK and Ireland tour and festival dates here.
Opening and closing with their two hit singles ‘Run With Me’ and ‘Feel It Again’, Hudson Taylor have sandwiched in three varied, upbeat and simply quality tunes on their Feel It Again EP journey. When chatting to them in January, the Irish duo revealed a significant change they made in the production of their music, bringing in their backing crew when on tour to be fully fledged members of the band in the recording studio. Furthermore, Harry Hudson-Taylor has found a new love for the electric guitar, amplifying the already quality rock sound. This change is evident on the new EP, and the extra power and strength can be heard over the five songs.
Not only does it affect the songs on the EP, but when playing their set live, it is a completely transformed sound. Gone are the two brothers playing acoustic guitars by themselves, (although they don’t forget to include lovely intimate moments during the show) and brought in is a huge, vibrant sound. It creates an energetic atmosphere in the venue, and makes it impossible to stand still, even if it's the first time hearing a new track. The brothers still tell us stories through the microphone, but with a deeper context brought to life by these musical additions.
Beginning with ‘Run With Me’, their masculine voices are accompanied with the female vocals of Gabrielle Aplin. This strengthens the song’s narrative as we hear the conversation between Alfie Hudson-Taylor and his real-life partner Aplin, turning up the emotion in the music. It’s a song of chilled verses leading up to an easy-to-sing-along-to chorus, originally written a while ago but with the idea of a music video with dogs in mind. This came to life on their YouTube and is the loveliest music video you will see this week. It's their most recent single, (accompanied as always with a beautiful acoustic version), and it's a fantastic way to open the EP.
‘Easy Baby’ is our first taster of new music from Hudson Taylor (with two songs from the EP already released as singles) and begins with another reminder of Harry’s impressive electric guitar skills, before leading into a catchy opening verse. The song also exposes the skills of string instrument specialist Tadhg Walsh-Peelo, bringing the authentic Irish sound to the band and reminding you of their roots, further extending the diverse range of instruments you can hear in their new music. With identifiable lyrics and another memorable chorus, ‘Easy Baby’ is a solid introduction to Hudson Taylor’s new material.
We then come to my personal highlight of the EP, and every Hudson Taylor fan’s first glimpse at new music when their live show in January opened with the track: ‘Travellin’’. Featuring not just the two guitars, but a cracking harmonica and fantastic fiddle, the song tells the story of their tours across the world which always accompanied by elation at new discoveries, but equally by homesickness and sadness for not being with that someone special. It is also the poster boy for their new sound, and their live performance showcased each different component of the band, almost as a way of introducing themselves. It began with the two brothers leading the guitar and vocals, segueing into solos for Oisin Walsh-Peelo on the harmonica and brother Tadhg on the fiddle. Recognition should also go to Ronan Sherlock on the bass and Jonny Colgan on the drums, all coming together to create a symphony of infectious music that you can’t help but move to. The upbeat nature of the song (and indeed the rest of the EP) makes it a perfect listen when you find yourself feeling down or far from comfort and warmth, but equally its cheer and joy make it ideal for when you're having the best time of your life. When travelling in particular, the lyrics understand your feelings and the music gives you motivation to keep going. It is just a brilliant tune to listen to at any point during the day or night, and is guaranteed to put you in a good mood.
‘Old Soul’ provides a calming return to the original Hudson Taylor sound, and a mellow interlude between the other fast-paced songs. Again featuring Aplin, the lyrics tell the story of two people trusting and believing in each other (which is where the harmonies of Aplin come into their own in the background) and continues the theme of the EP of the feeling of happiness and safety when you’re with someone special. It’s not a slow, single-guitar song with a solitary vocal that can easily be forgotten about, rather an emotional and effective use of one instrument to grab your attention and listen to what the track has to say. It gives you access to their own soul, and in return the song claims a special spot within you. It’s the final as yet unreleased song on the EP and closes off the mini journey in the middle nicely.
Closing with ‘Feel It Again’, similar to the set list on their recent tour, a powerful chorus, the backing vocals of sister Holly Hudson-Taylor and a return to the mixture of different instruments that hits you hard provides a solid end to the EP. It’s a very motivational, get up and feel good song despite the lyrics talking about rain and tears, following the trend of the rest of the EP in finding the positives in life when things just aren’t going your way. Another song about love, but this time enjoying everything even if it goes wrong, it’s a strong message to end on. You should always “rather live with the pain than die feeling nothing at all,” which I think is a perfect motto to follow. Whatever happens, you have a way forward, and this song is your friend when times are hard, offers a release when you most need it, and personifies the optimism when you find light at the end of the tunnel.
The Feel It Again EP is out on March 23, and it’s 17 minutes of cheerful, emotional, rousing, identifiable and downright wonderful music. You can pre-order it here. They’re also on tour in Ireland later in March and April, if you happen to be visiting (I'd recommend it!). Their live shows are not to be missed, and you can check out tickets and tour dates here.
by Oscar La-Gambina