Mixing an orchestral, chamber pop vibe with angsty vocals, just before the halfway mark, It Is Finished… decides to reinvent itself into a swirling, post-rock landscape. It really is a song of two halves, as sports pundits might say. Initially, guitars seem to squall and howl, chop and charge as Nick Hudson punches home the message, often leaning into an echo of Jim Morrison’s rock-crooner vibe.
But then synths rise up, guitars opt to chime rather than squeal and the vocals seem to become slightly lost in a shimmering, psychedelic sonic wave, ebbing and flowing in a much more gentle yet skittish and nervous fashion.
Ghost Foxes which, in a previous, more physically driven era we would have referred to as the B-side, is equally as unique*. Built on a tsunami of shuffling, fidgeting drums followed by raw-edged guitars that seem to tear jaggedly through the bustling beats as the lyrics come in snappy and snarky bursts. The whole effect to be one of tension and sonic confrontation.
I, like anyone who has been following his’s career, have long ago given up trying to pigeonhole the music that Nick makes, either solo or as The Academy of Sun. It’s is hard to even find the right words to describe it effectively, which is a shame because as a reviewer, that is pretty much the job at hand.
Suffice it to say that Nick has to be one of the most original, adventurous, genre-free and challenging music-makers of the moment. His songs blend beauty with chaos, grace with off-kilter grooves, intelligence with a brilliant out-there-ness. And if that isn’t enough to get you heading towards his canon of works past and present, then perhaps music isn’t for you after all.
* Of course if you are quick off the mark and bag yourself one of a limited run of 100, 7″ singles, then it really is the B-side.