Hudson Taylor are enjoying their fall run of sold out shows with Hozier. The tour has included three massive shows at the iconic Beacon Theater and an additional headlining show at City Winery. Their latest release, Bear Creek To Dame Street, is a thoughtful mini-album that features live tracks as well as songs that were recorded in the studio. We caught up with the band to discuss their latest shows, the new record, and so much more.
Listen to Bear Creek To Dame Street here.
You’re currently out on the road with Hozier, how have the shows been so far and how have the crowds been reacting to your set each night?
We’ve been having a blast out on stage playing to Hozier’s crowds! They have been really receptive and we have managed to get them singing along. After each set we have been going out to meet anyone who is up for that sort of thing and in doing that have met lots of people who have never heard of us and others who followed us for a few years.
You just released “Bear Creek To Dame Street” as a “mini album”, I love that you’re referring to it as a mini album rather than an EP. Can you tell me a little bit about the process that went into creating it at Bear Creak Studios in Seattle and what the record means to you at this stage in your career?
Haha yes regarding the choice of “mini album” instead of EP, we couldn’t really justify calling it an album because it only features 4 new songs. We couldn’t call it an EP because it features 8 songs in total (9 if on streaming). The 4 (or 5) tracks on the second half are taken from a show we played in our hometown of Dublin at the Olympia Theatre on Dame Street.
The 4 new songs recorded in Bear Creek, these are the next 4 songs to come from a 5 week stint we spent there last year. We released the first 5 on our ‘Feel it Again’ EP earlier this year.
The studio is a beautiful big barn amongst a load of giant Californian red wood trees. It was a sanctuary for us. We hardly left except to stock up on food in the local supermarket. The producer, Ryan Hadlock, liked what we had done on our home demos and so we mainly recreated those with nicer sounding rooms and instruments.
The songs on the Bear Creek half of the album are a mixture of 2 more playful songs and 2 darker songs. We’re really happy with how they turned out. We gig a lot and have been gigging a lot for about 6 years so it was a surprise to us that we had never officially released any live recordings. We’re happy that there’s a decent recording out there of how we sound live, instead of just phone quality snippets all over YouTube and Instagram.
The album is a combo studio/live album what kind of effect sonically do you think that adds to the record, if any?
It’s nice to have the contrast. When listened to as a Vinyl you get the Studio tracks on side A and the Live tracks on Side B, so in that sense it’s quite a nice rounded experience of what we’re all about.
You guys have amassed millions of play on Spotify. That’s quite an accomplish in the new music consumption age where everyone has access to so many different songs and artists. How do you think streaming has changed the trajectory of your career and music in general for up and coming artists?
Certainly cannot deny that streaming as been great for us to reach new audiences. People have found us through the “You may like this artist based on what you’re listening to,” “artist radio” or the equivalent and mood playlists. Touring is expensive stuff especially when you want to travel with a large band. With that in mind, we’re able to look at the numbers and analytics on the various streaming services and work out if playing a show in certain cities or countries is more financially justifiable to bring a whole band with us! Otherwise we just play as a two piece.
For up and coming artists, we all get mixed in with bigger artists on people’s playlists which can be great exposure. It’s nice when artists with large audiences feature artists with smaller ones on their playlists. This kind of thing helps to build a community.
How do you plan on wrapping up 2018, other than your remaining tour dates?
Time with family where possible. Hoping for some time off between Christmas and the new year because we’ve played every Christmas for about 5 years. But of course if a great gig comes in we’ll consider that!
Any last words for the interview or anything specific you want our readers to know?
Yea! Please if you’re interested, come along to a Hudson Taylor gig some time and see what we’re all about!