Ouroborous and the Black Dove is the national debut of the Knoxville-based powerhouse, Hudson K. Under the guidance of internationally renowned producer, Jason Rubal (Amanda Palmer, Over the Edge, The Cure), and his team at Seventh Wave Studios, the multi-talented duo (Christina Horn and Nate Barrett) found the courage to dive deep, creating a brave musical mosaic without the underpinning of traditional instruments.
Hudson K is electro-synth rock with influences ranging from Siousxie and the Banshees to P .J. Harvey . Comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Annie Lennox have been made in recent press. Over the past seven years of cultivating their sound through energized and often extravagant stage shows, Hudson K has built a loyal following across the Eastern States in cities ranging from Chattanooga to Knoxville, Asheville, Philadelphia, and New York among others.
Bold exploration is what caught the attention of producer Jason Rubal at Seventh Wave Studios. “It all started with a message I got out of the blue one day from Jason,” recounts Hudson K founder, Christina Horn, “It said, Mark my words: Some day , I will make your album.”
It took a community to bring Ouroboros and the Black Dove to life. In Fall 2012, Hudson K launched a crowdsourcing campaign through Indiegogo to raise the money for the project. “I didn’t know if we could do it,” Horn recalls, thinking back to her initial hesitation. “It’s such a daunting task. Will people believe in the project? Will they pre-order a record that hasn’t been produced? Do they trust us? Do they want to hear the music?”
As it turned out, there was no need to worry . Within the 30-day campaign, Hudson K exceeded their fundraising goal.
“You know, there are a lot of different ways to spell ouroboros. It’s an ancient symbol,” Horn explains, “but I chose this way of because of the o-u-r. We could not have made this album without our fans. This is a community album.”
New and old fans will be amazed at the technical prowess in this album as it swings seamlessly between the branches of synth-heavy meta-rock, pop-dance tunes, and powerful, stripped down, soul-searing ballads. Ouroboros and the Black Dove is a visceral, cathartic, and, at times, upbeat album that makes a bold statement: This is Hudson K.
What does it take for a band to find their voice? Time, talent, grit, and determination.
Founding member Christina Horn spent seven years studying piano in a classical conservatory , refining her technique and composition. She spent the early part of her musical career playing with orchestras and classical groups in Chattanooga and Knoxville, TN.
“I knew I had talent,” Horn will tell you with a flush of embarrassment, “but I didn’t know I had a voice. I fell into the trap: get a degree, get engaged, buy a house in suburbs. It wasn’t authentic...to me. It was
everyone else’s idea of a good life. Not mine. I didn’t have a voice. I gave it away before I ever found it.”
Bold. She took a leap and gave away the life she had built. Horn spent the next year crashing on couches, making her first attempts as a singer-songwriter and defining her own idea of a good life. In those early days, she could be found at open-mic nights around Knoxville, Chattanooga, and even as far south Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta. Almost whispering into the microphone, hiding behind her hoodie, Horn began her quest to find a sound.
In the midst of these transitions, Horn ran into Knoxville drummer, Nate Barrett. The two hit if off instantly . Horn told Nate of a dream she had discovered: to transpose classical elements of composition to modern rock. With her steadfast resolve and technical skill, Nate was sold and Hudson K was born.
After a solid year of touring HK began to realize the absolute saturation of the live music market. It became painfully obvious that there were hundreds if not thousands of female songwriters and indie bands trying to be heard-and they all sounded similar.
“There are so many Tori Amos’s,” Horn says. “I hated being compared to Tori Amos. It’s like, if you’re a female musician who plays piano, you’re compared to Tori Amos. I always wanted to be an innovator. I wanted to find my own sound, maybe a new sound. I’d rather be a Kate Bush or a Laurie Anderson.”
The solution was hard won. Horn had been toying with Ableton Live since it’s initial release in 2001 but had yet to really implement the software’s capabilities into a live set. In 2012 she took a sabbatical from performing and locked herself in a hotel with the goal of unlocking how she could best use technology as a tool. A few months later Hudson K emerged onstage;; the traditional piano had been replaced by a laptop, a MIDI controller, a launchpad for live looping and triggering samples, and a wireless MIDI keytar. The new sound is a definite departure from the cabaret-inspired piano ballads of 2010.
Hudson K has become a guiding force for the thriving music and art scenes in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Asheville, and the surrounding areas. When they’re playing close to home, a Hudson K show becomes a collaboration of arts, regularly featuring belly and knife dancers, hula-hoopers, and aerial artists. Harnessing the passion of the music with a focused energy , Christina Horn and Nate Barrett capture imaginations and inspire audiences wherever they go.
When they aren’t on the road, Hudson K calls their scruffy city , Knoxville, TN, home.