Nick JD Hodgson showcases debut album Tell Your Friends at the Islington
After leaving the Kaiser Chiefs in 2012 to focus on other projects, Nick JD Hodgson has kept busy, writing for stars ranging from Mark Ronson to Shirley Bassey. This showcase at the Islington of songs from his debut album, Tell Your Friends, displays the artist’s musical influences and the variation he is capable of – he is a talented songwriter finally making music for himself! There are levels to each track that demonstrate his attention to detail, and ability to let each instrument take the spotlight, whilst working in harmony with one another.
The record has a dreamy easygoing personality, with open-ended questions and ponderings that imply a freedom to wander musically. Hodgson has spoken previously about his desire to make “feel-good music”, and he manages to do so whilst still creating something complex and introspective. His ability to push to the borders of this spectrum are exemplified on the chanting sing-a-long RSVP over to the lulling Don’t Forget to Go to Sleep. Feel Better is a 70s-styled trip that questions whether the songwriter does actually feel better and whether, in fact, he even wants to. Tomorrow I Love You is a tinkling, optimistic tune that gazes into the future of a romance. I Love The Way Your Mind Works stands out as being sensuous and adventurous, with a whining guitar solo that goes on its own journey of self-exploration.
There are throwbacks to Kaiser Chief crowd-pleasers I Predict a Riot and Oh My God, but it is evident that Hodgson has matured in these updated interpretations. The former takes on a sharp, shouty punk staccato in the chorus that gives it a new character. The latter has decelerated and packs a heavier punch. They are both tinged with the youthful exuberance of their first outing, but also emit a multilayered melancholy that makes them feel new and revived.
The musician keeps his chat in between tracks to quick-witted quips or self-deprecating jokes about his famous past, indicating that he is no longer interested in taking on the role of a pop star. He is focused on making and playing honest music just for him and those who support him, and who are there to join him in having a good time. Songs like Thank You feel as though they are a direct statement of gratitude to Hodgson’s audience, to those who have stuck with him into this next stage of his creative output.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Nick JD Hodgson’s website here.
Watch the video for Suitable here: