Chicago indie rockers talk about releasing the first of three EPs for 2013, and what else is in store.
BY KLAUS NYMAN
Young and working hard, The Hudson Branch wrapped up 2012 by touring after the April release of ‘World Kid’, their second full-length record. Just recently they introduced ‘Yesterday’, the first of three independently recorded EPs to be released individually over the next few months. We were able to get an exclusive on the new release during which the guys gave us a sneak preview of the next two. The band held their official record release party in Chicago on Feb. 9. (Below, check out a key track from their 2012 record.)
Why split up material between 3 EPs?
We have made an effort to become more independent. We recorded on our own for the entire project, and are going to release them in a way that works for us. All three EPs are going to have different sounds, which is our reasoning behind splitting them up. Having control from composing to recording, and then finally releasing the record is something that we found works well for us.
What sounds can fans look forward to on this and the next two releases?
The sounds (laughs)? I’m glad you asked. The three records are titled, ‘Yesterday’, ‘Today’, and ‘Tomorrow’ and each have a different sound. The first release, ‘Yesterday’, was influenced by artists like Bill Withers, Earth Wind & Fire, and the Jackson 5. Although, we put our own twist on the record, it’s definitely The Hudson Branch. It’s sort of a late 60’s early 70’s groove soul music thing.
The second release, ‘Today’, will represent our present day with influences of electronica and dance. I would say somewhat comparable to Sufjan Stevens, a little more mashed up though. That may not make sense, but don’t worry, it will when you listen to it.
The last release, and most intriguing to us, is titled ‘Tomorrow’. The future of pop music is something we’re fascinated with. This third EP is going to be clips of story telling, public radio and recorded words pieced together to form pop songs, really different stuff. Influenced from some of our previous material, Dogs on Tour and Kohn, we are going to create songs in the most unconventional way. Basing this new material off those old models is how we incorporated the human voice and other effects to write the pop songs. The goal of this EP is to give listeners exactly that, tomorrow. This is going to be something listeners aren’t typically exposed to, or have ever listened to before, yet still appeasing to the ear.
Who mixed the first release, ‘Yesterday’?
Our good friend and producer, Neil Strauch (Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird), has been a great facilitator and was kind enough to mix ‘Yesterday’. Working with him only increased our chances to encapsulate our sound we tried for on the record. He produced our second full-length album, “World Kid” April 2012, and we enjoyed working with him then, so that’s why we went him again.
Is there anything else that differs on ‘Yesterday’ from the conventional style of an EP release?
Other than our format of recording, we did take an unusual spin on the album artwork. Lets just say it’s time to get your hands on a pair of 3D glasses. Actually we’ll provide the glasses (laughs). All three EPs album artwork will be released in a 3D format. This added a bit more fun and excitement for us while looking forward to releasing the new material.
Are there any upcoming shows or anything else you guys would like to share with your fans?
We’re absolutely fueled for fans to see our newest video, filmed by Robert Ingraham, for the title track off the first release, “Keep Running”. It’ll be released sometime between our first release and our CD release show, which brings me to our CD release show (laughs). We’ll provide 3D glasses to everyone who comes out to the show on February 9th at The Ace Bar in Chicago, IL. We hope to see you there.