Hudson Taylor - Osea EP

Dublin duo Hudson Taylor have built a huge following for their pop-folk guitar-driven sound. We talked to the brothers about new single ‘Care’ from their Osea EP - named after a tucked away island that’s their song-writing haven. The EP is out on Polydor, and there’s a 15-date headline tour in November.

Space for writing songs

Alfie and Harry who make up Hudson Taylor, told us that ‘Care’, like the rest of the EP, is tied to a special place.

We wrote it on an isolated island off the East Coast that’s only accessible through a causeway at low tide. We go there to get out of London where we are now living, and get some clear space, and we called the EP after the island - Osea.

We were jamming - sometimes there’s magic

The track has a retro feel and Alfie says it sprang out of a jam they were doing.

It’s quite a different one for us, we were jamming and said let’s emulate old school rock, and wrote it quite quickly - there are some classic chord changes in there. Sometimes there is just magic in it - we kept playing Care round and round - and we’ve written whole songs by just rolling with it.

The lyrics always come out from the moment. We start out with a riff, and choose a subject, and get a chugging guitar thing going, then I’ll write lines. We know each other pretty well, and Harry harmonises with what I come up with.

‘Care’ went on to be produced by Florence & The Machine and Ed Sheeran collaborator Charlie Hugall.

Acoustic guitars and hanging mics from beams

When the brothers are on a songwriting escape they take acoustic guitars, a MacBook, MIDI keyboard and a couple of microphones, so that they can make a demo.

There’s a run down music hall on the island and it’s all very DIY. We hang the mics from the beams, we don’t have stands or anything. It really works for us.

The band use Freshman Guitars and have a few different models between them, thanks to an endorsement. For recording ‘Care’, Alfie used his much loved FA 500D.

It’s really good, the first guitar I ever owned and it’s VERY loud. I play it almost every day.

Harry, who also plays piano, bazouki, and mandolin, prefers a different style of guitar.

I use Freshmans with a cutaway as I like to be able to play higher up.

Hudson Taylor live

Over the past six months, they’ve supported Jake Bugg and The Rolling Stones as well as pitching up at a variety of festivals including Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival and Bestival.

Live they play as a five-piece with a bassist, drummer, and fiddle and keys player says Alfie.

We all sing as well, and like to incorporate gang vocals and harmonising. In the set we also cut it back too - there are two songs we play just on our own. In a small venue we play completely acoustically.