“Building on roots in sensitive folk-rock (think: Nick Drake), genteel early ’60s pop (echoes of Burt Bacharach) and polite indie-rock (a la the Sea and Cake), the Hudson Branch is a polished quintet.”
– Jim Derogatis, Chicago Sun Times
“Hitting the sweet spots between Radiohead’s emotional brit-pop era and the Americana-minded experimentalism of Wilco.”
Chicago-based five-piece The Hudson Branch release “World Kid” as a digital album and as a mixed media physical songbook on April 24th.
Recorded with John McEntire (Broken Social Scene, Tortoise) and produced by Neil Strauch (Andrew Bird, Iron & Wine, Anathallo), “World Kid” retains the nuanced complexity of the band’s debut album “Tightrope Walker” but sees The Hudson Branch (Cobey Bienert, Corey Bienert, Matt Boll, Jake Boll, Enoch Kim) embracing new territory. In addition to traditional instruments (guitar, bass, drums, piano), ukuleles, programmed beats, tambourines, shakers, glockenspiels, marimbas, a Wurlitzer, an organ, Casio synths, violins combine to create “World Kid’s” unique sonic texture.
Science plays a lead role on the album with songs inspired by neural recognition patterns (“Memories”), charged particle analogies (“Muons”), and the album’s debut single “The Periodic Table of Elegance” offering up an elemental breakdown of unrequited love (She says we don’t have chemistry / It’s “how’ve you been Hydrogen” / while Helium gets high for fun / Preposterously Phosphorus leaves / And Oxygen feels used again).
Thematically, “World Kid” explores the concept of growing up; the struggle to reconcile what you thought the world was going to be as a kid vs. the reality of the world you come to know as an adult. Embracing nostalgia, the album sees The Hudson Branch trying to navigate the path of art and optimism as the responsibilities of adulthood and the realities of life come crashing down all around.
The Hudson Branch is just one limb of the ever-evolving family tree that is the multimedia art collective Dogs On Tour. 2011 proved a banner year for both The Hudson Branch and Dogs On Tour. Their collaboration on the piece “Kohn” won Best New Artist at the 2011 Third Coast International Audio Festival landing them a prominent feature on NPR/WNYC’s RadioLab.
Cementing their place at the intersection of story, sound and music, The Hudson Branch will release “World Kid” as a physical songbook in addition to digital format. The forthcoming book will come with a download code and include lyrics, photos, artwork, and stories to compliment the music from members of the band and additional collaborators (TBA).
The Hudson Branch also wants to collaborate with fans! Submit a profile photo to firstname.lastname@example.org to become a world kid and receive your own personalized album cover art.
World Kid Track List:
What Did I Eat?
Periodic Table of Elegance
Tread, Trample, Tremble, Trampoline