Local Love: Rex Hudson
Rex Hudson, Photo: Courtesy of Wonky Power Records
There’s something happening in the electronic world right now, where technology is allowing acts to really mix up the boundaries between various genres. One artist who’s really mixing things up, is Houston’s Rex Hudson. Though technically from Clear Lake, Hudson mixes electronic beats with live guitar and lo-fi shoegaze tendencies to create a sound that’s all his own. In December he dropped his debut EP, “No Return,” and it’s such a crazy mixture of sounds that it’s something everyone should check out.
Things kick off with the Daft Punk meets Beach House vibe of “Younger Us,” where Hudson utilizes looping techniques with a hook heavy synth. When the lighter than usual beat comes in, you’re already invested in the sound. A secondary synth and beat join the aforementioned, and reverb vocals collide while he keeps things on the groove heavy side. The interesting thing about the track is that the beats aren’t thick, and his use of the guitar not only works well, but adds to the groovy nature of the song. He follows up with another catchy tune, on the more guitar hook based “Come and Go.” Though it echoes hints of Houston’s Bang Bangz, don’t let that deter from the fact that with a small push, you could find people getting down to the track. His dissonant vocals with a pop heavy synth and a lush guitar make the track one of the stand outs on the album. The song is so catchy, that I had to walk away from finishing listening to the rest of the EP for a bit because it was so stuck in my head.
On the third song, “No Return,” Hudson strays a bit from the initial tracks by leading with guitar, only to glide in a faded vocal and a spacy synth. The use of bass guitar and tropical beat clusters really impressed me, as he utilizes them in a way that you don’t get very often. The dual vocals are also a nice touch, and add to the endearing nature of the track. Then, out of nowhere, he adds this flamenco guitar that’s so minimal yet integral at the same time, before he pulls it off the track. Whatever he’s influenced by, it’s nothing I’ve heard before; which is really refreshing. Another standout of the EP, “Lapse” comes in with this space heavy futuristic synth sound that immediately pulls you in. The song is essentially a pop ballad, but it reminds me of tracks I’ve heard from bigger names in its implementation, while he keeps it all his own. You could easily jam this song on the regular without getting tired of it.
Hudson closes things off with the almost opposite sounding “End,” where the electronics he’s been utilizing really come out and dance all over the song. Hints of tropical, synth pop, and rock are all over the track making it the most forward of the five. When his vocals come in they transform the song into something closer to something in the rock spectrum, before he brings back those multiple synths that make anyone just wanna’ get down. In five tracks Hudson proves that he’s definitely onto something different from everyone else while still keeping core values of electronica in check.
You can catch Hudson perform an in-store set at Cactus on Saturday, February 6th. The all ages show gets going around 3:00 and it’s 100% FREE.