NICK HUDSON – “THE BALLAD OF K69996 ROMA”
A SPILL EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE
Earlier this year, we introduced you to the fantastic music of Brighton-based singer-songwriter Nick Hudson, best known as frontman of The Academy Of Sun. We premiered “Surkov’s Dream”, the lead track from his Font of Human Fractures album and we also reviewed that full album, his first one in five years. Now he is back with the follow-up EP, called K69996ROMA:EP.
Today we have the pleasure of premiering a short artistic film created by Brighton-based filmmaker Adrian Goycoolea for the EP’s lead track “The Ballad Of K69996 Roma”. Given the subject matter of this particular video, it is not surprising that Goycoolea is involved, given that his films often address issues of location and identity, exploring the intersections of personal memory with social and political histories.
“The Ballad Of K69996 Roma” transposes a conscience upon the slick Alfa Romeo car that was owned by and weaponised in the 1975 murder of queer Marxist filmmaker, poet and essayist Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Here we witness something that resembles a re-enactment of this gruesome yet fascinating story. You can’t take your eyes off this film and you’ll want to watch it again just as soon as you’ve finished (and return to it multiple times subsequent to that).
There’s something haunting in this music and accompanying clip. To boot, the melody and vocal delivery are equally stunning. Hudson, who has quite a lot of famous fans (an artist’s artist, some may argue), has earned the reputation he has for a good reason. Perhaps best put by Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite when he said Hudson was one of the most exciting musicians currently operating in the UK, noting that he is “fantastically dedicated, prolific and talented” and “currently at the height of his creativity”. We must concur – Hudson is ascending quickly and we can only enjoy the ride and associated soundtrack.
“K69996ROMA:EP is the shadow cast in the desert by the brutalist garret of Font Of Human Fractures – like Amnesiac to its Kid A, if you will. This takes the Pasolini-inspired “The Ballad Of K69996 Roma” from that record and refracting it through a prism of gay communist black metal chamber electronica,” says Nick Hudson.
“While cinema has always been pivotal to my work, it’s never been stronger than here, with references to Alain Delon, French cine-essayist Chris Marker, and the aforementioned Pier Paolo Pasolini, scattered throughout.”
The EP consists of 8 diverse tracks, including “Asymmetric: A Forgery”, a track that was originally composed and recorded for Font Of Human Fractures, but was omitted due to running time restrictions on the vinyl edition. “The Florist”, co-written with Kianna Blue (The Academy of Sun), proposes a kind of metaphysical tabula rasa, as the protagonist self-immolates in a flower shop, and ascends.
“Channeling Pasolini’s communism, and the contradictions within his own ‘brand’ of it – alongside my own contemporarily-heightened anxieties and allegiances – the political angles are sharper on this release than on others. As such it felt right to include my interpretation of Robert Wyatt’s beautiful “Amber And The Ambergrines” in the set,” says Nick Hudson.
Nick Hudson is a prolific figure on the UK underground music scene. Apart from fronting art-rock band The Academy Of Sun, who released their dystopian epic The Quiet Earth last year to critical acclaim, Nick’s vast output also encompasses painting, film, and a recently-completed novel.
Hudson has also collaborated with Wayne Hussey (The Mission) and Matthew Seligman (Bowie, Tori Amos, Morrissey), members of Kayo Dot, David Tibet (Current 93), Asva and queercore icon GB Jones. As The Academy Of Sun, he’s also collaborated with Massive Attack’s Shara Nelson. Having toured 3 continents, highlights include appearances with Mogwai, Toby Driver and Keith Abrams (Kayo Dot), and Timba Harris (Mr. Bungle, Amanda Palmer).
K69996ROMA:EP will be released digitally and as a hyper-limited edition 4-panel CD digipak of 50 copies, 25 of which will be presented in an ACAB-silkscreened metallic gold envelope, with a bonus track in the form of a score booklet, printed on Nepalese floral paper and featuring an original miniature artwork by Nick Hudson. This and Hudson’s other music and artwork can be ordered at https://nickhudsonindustries.bandcamp.com.
Nick Hudson – Piano, programming, vocals
Lizzy Carey – Strings
Kianna Blue – Score transcription, keys and synth
Juliet Russell – Voice of Anna Magnani
All tracks produced, performed and mixed by Nick Hudson
Paul Pascoe – Mastering at Church Road Studios
Written by Nick Hudson
Cover artwork by Julian Kenning
‘The Ballad Of K69996 Roma’ video directed by Adrian Goycoolea
Here are some other audio-visual gems from Hudson’s 2021 ‘Font of Fractures’ album, the first of which was produced by renowned Scottish writer Ewan Morrison:
Release Date: September 15, 2021