YERBA BUENA (2016)

ESSENTIAL NEW MUSIC --- MAGNET MAGAZINE

KCRW'S BEST OF 2016

"SO F[--]KING GOOD" --- THE BAY BRIDGED plus interview

"Memorable and magnificent." --- TROUSER PRESS

"I love this kind of stuff . . ." + TOP TEN --- DAGGER ZINE

5 out of 5 --- NEW NOISE

IMPOSE interview

CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND

SPEAK INTO MY GOOD EYE

". . . indie rockers wait no more, go get this . . ." 26 of 40 favorites of 2016 --- POP CULTURE LUNCH BOX

"HAVING FUN? NO? LISTEN TO HUDSON BELL. Over the last whoever knows how long, band’s have been trying to sound like they’re DIY or lo-fi. Sometimes it’s a success, sometimes you can tell it was a preconceived notion, but with Hudson Bell it feels real. Whether that was the intention or not, it sounds imperfect in the most enchanting way possible. By no means will you hear the polish, but the music still contains the hooks that implore listeners to come back time and time again to their favorite songs." --- AUSTIN TOWN HALL

". . . a giant alt-rock masterpiece." + BEST OF 2016 --- DAILY VAULT

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OUT OF CLOUDS (2010)

FAVORITE RECORDS OF 2010 --- PORTLAND MERCURY

BEST OF 2010 --- SHAKING THROUGH

PAZZ+JOP 2010 --- VILLAGE VOICE

TOP ALBUMS OF 2010 --- SOUNDS VENLO

". . . a psychedelic Western . . . the band still builds and destroys . . . but still always relate to real life." --- ERASING CLOUDS

"Hudson Bell combina muito bem com dias levemente quentes, contemplativos, como contraponto a muitas idas e vindas em trens–ônibus–aviões. Concentrem-se nos dois últimos discos, Out of the Clouds e When the Sun is the Moon." --- DYING DAYS

"L ULTIMA FATICA DI HUDSON BELL DA SAN FRANCISCO SI ATTESTA SU SONORITA WEIRD FOLK CON UN BEAT VAGAMENTE KOSM SCHE." --- GOODFELLAS

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WHEN THE SUN IS THE MOON  (2005)

 

"A masterpiece." --- TROUSER PRESS

". . . one of [2005's] best . . ." --- DUSTED MAGAZINE

Top Ten of 2005 --- TOKION

". . . a nostalgic blend of acoustic balladry and fuzzed-out guitars . . . blending indie pop with psychedelia in a way that sounds at once fresh and familiar . . . a rich, delicate album." 7.4 --- PITCHFORK

"It's just one hook lined pop song after another. It's one huge, soaring chorus after the next. It's genuinely emotional guitar solos placed right smack dab where they are supposed to be. It's heartfelt crescendos . . . that will pull your heart out through your chest while you let the waves of rock wash your ears clean of all the crappy music you have become accustomed to. It's the epitome of what a feel good rock record for the 2000's should sound like . . ." --- INDIEWORKSHOP

Top Ten of 2005 (David Berman/Silver Jews) --- HARP

"There's a frightening amount of things going right on When the Sun is the Moon . . . an inspiring and exhilarating release . . . From the beginning . . . all the way to the final, tidal lapping of "Sea Horse," there's rarely a moment that isn't showcasing the band's sublime nature, whether it's in a stabbing riff or incisive lyric . . . What's going right on this album becomes evident. It never sounds like it's trying to placate the listener, nor win the listener over to its side. The album is what it is--Hudson Bell's creation has no target beyong its own existence and self-fulfulling beauty, and achieves a remarkable level of power in the process." --- STYLUS MAGAZINE

". . . profoundly solid . . ." --- DELUSIONS OF ADEQUACY

". . . a return to indie rock's glory days." --- READYMADE

"Hudson Bell's ability to write songs filled with heart-breaking honesty and eye-opening insight must be a genetic gift . . . he remains one of the greatest and unheralded songwriters of this generation . . . this time around Bell brilliantly takes a long and winding road with his electric guitar playing . . . what you have is a great sound of glory . . . places enough sonic explorations and literate images in your head to turn listening to Hudson Bell into the finest chime of freedom to be found." --- COPPER PRESS

 

". . . vocals mesh perfectly with his panoramic, neopsychedelic guitar work." --- GUITAR WORLD

". . . bundles of sonic joy . . ." --- PASTE MAGAZINE

". . . a sprawling, fuzzed-out, majestic mess of American pop." --- JACKSON FREE PRESS

"Sounding disaffected in a dreamy way, the vocals can still catch the listener off-guard with the slight pauses and unobvious inflections . . . This is a three-piece that sounds like an eight-piece . . . This is music to enjoy an afternoon by, on a porch with a beverage and a good novel . . . It's truly a journey." --- POPMATTERS

"Bell has a way with stirring up emotions without being sentimental about it . . . I'm left with lingering images of planets and galaxies, of never-ending landscapes spread out in front of you. The music evokes these impressions just as the lyrics do, making us feel like we're floating through space and time, our heads spinning from the cloud of dust around us, one built from sounds coaxed from, and pounded out of, an electric guitar. It feels like life, then, in all its aimlessness and curiosity." --- ERASING CLOUDS

". . . a purely cathartic, physical experience with all the fuzz and feedback that resonates in your head and makes your chest want to explode. . . . in a league populated by the indie-rock elite---one that can repeatedly satisfy on many levels." --- THE COAST, HALIFAX'S WEEKLY

". . . a well-written and earnest album filled with heartbreaking harmonies and indie rock that refuses to leave the head." --- DC EXAMINER

". . . the honesty of the songs and the depth of the songwriting, along with Bell's outstanding vocals make this stand out almost right away . . . the detail in each song, which is always cleverly hidden beneath a quiet and honest confidence, really makes the record stand out . . . intriguing and epic enough to hold my attention for so many repeated listens." --- THE NEW SCHEME

"[A] heady, organic blend of Crazy Horse-style guitar-whirring and Brian Wilson-esque pop melodies." --- GUITAR PLAYER

NO MAN'S LAND --- MAGNET MAGAZINE feature

". . . the whole album has a shimmering, dense, submarine feel to it . . . Lyrically, Bell has his bases covered . . . cool and supremely beautiful . . . Dive in and you'll find the guts of the album teeming with variety and life." --- WHATZUP

 

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CAPTAIN OF THE OLD GIRLS (2002)

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"Who is this relatively unknown artist, who . . . can mesmerize listeners so completely . . . Captain of the Old Girls is the sound of rain pouring down on a sunny day, of someone looking at an old photograph of someone else and seeing their own flaws reflected. . . . the high-fidelity clarity of this record's production brings the wounded messages of these songs home like headlights on a long-forgotten road. . . . a record filled with major steps forward." Rating 4 out of 5 --- ROCKPILE

TOP TEN MOST OVERLOOKED OF 2002 --- DEVIL IN THE WOODS

". . . spacious and open, a mix of acoustic meditation and electric abandon that puts the CD somewhere between The Velvet Underground & Nico and Son Volt's seminal altcountry record Trace." --- SF WEEKLY full article

"[Bell] sure does have a way with his music . . . These aren't plodding works, but swooping, majestic delicate sledgehammers that keep falling until the point is driven home once and for all . . . I'm a sucker for for quavering vocals, and I'm equally enamored of grandiose layered pop music. Plenty of both here to satisfy" --- AIDING & ABETTING

". . . beguiling . . . At first blush, Captain seems like one of those faux-naif, man-child records, a la Daniel Johnston or Beat Happening . . . But it soon becomes apparent that Bell, with his eggheady lyrics and grandly orchestrated lo-fi arrangements, is definitely following his own muse." --- BAY AREA BUZZ

 

"A young writer finds emotional solace in song and offers a timeless message permeated with unassuming brilliance. . . . And throughout, the simple but elegant music supports the erudite, poignant, compelling lyrics. These are words you can sink your teeth into and chew hard . . . With an ad-hoc simplicity and a hopeful innocence camouflaging its emotional power, Captain of the Old Girls earns five bites out of five." --- ROCKBITES ALT DAILY

". . . [Bell] loves to push his pretty tunes to the very edge of discordant chaos without ever letting them tumble into the abyss . . . a welcome blast of heartfelt, intelligent music . . . " --- SF EXAMINER

"I always say that I hate singer/songwriter music, but . . . am pleasantly surprised by something really good coming my way. . . . Hudson sings like he is inspired by the loneliness of the world detached . . . His voice crackles ever so slightly and his lyrics are beautiful. The music is lush and calculated. I would not groan if he played." --- SINCERE BRUTALITY

"A lot of the songs on this album have the same mid-tempo drawl, which creates the perfect backdrop for the lazy southern talk that Bell communicates with . . . I don't know if I've heard a better summer album yet." --- DELUSIONS OF ADEQUACY

"[Bell] writes, sings and plays personal songs that also tap into the history and geography of the US . . . His songs are straightforward and catchy, yet he leaves room for swatches of noise and other expressions of sonic freedom. His lyrics deal with personal feelings and subjects, but go further than that by matching our individual histories and emotional geographies to those of the country we live in. He explores the past--deeds and misdeeds, relationships, feelings and moods--in a way that focuses on our collective story as well as our individual stories. . . . all of [the songs] are remarkable." --- ERASING CLOUDS

" . . . quite a rewarding listen." --- INDIEVILLE

"Captain of the Old Girls captures Bell's expansion of acoustic ideas and electric sketches into folk-influenced and full-fledged rock songs." --- COPPER PRESS

" . . . an engaging collection of smart and affecting songs." --- ALL MUSIC

"While many alt-country bands actively incorporate rural Americana and folk-tinged elements into their music from decidely hipper and more urban locales, Bell seems to have brought the base elements of American roots music with him from Mississippi to the city . . . The main strength of Captain of the Old Girls, however, lies in Bell's beautiful storytelling abilities . . . The cornerstone of the record . . . and perhaps one of the finest songs of the year, belongs to "Expatriate." Captain of the Old Girls is a true great American album." --- ACTIONMAN MAGAZINE

" . . . leaves the overall aftertaste of being an aural home movie . . ." --- TIDAL WAVE MAGAZINE

"This falls in the category of 'super good album!'" --- INVISIBLE YOUTH

" . . . terrific . . . Smart songwriters too often just come off brainy--they can't stop trying to impress you with their vocabulary--but Bell grounds his insights in commonplace language and moments. He's certainly someone to root for. Rating: 3 1/2 out of 4" --- ZEAL MAGAZINE

"This is basically a one man show, which makes it even more astounding, because the instrumentation is varied and rich. The guitars are at times fuzzy, at times jangly, but they always work in perfect harmony with the emotive vocals. . . . This is an album for lovers of indie ingenuity and honest emotional delivery. . . . 4.5 of 5" --- SOUTH OF MAINSTREAM

"With Captain of the Old Girls Bell marries a Southern introspection and focus on landscape with west coast hopefulness about new beginnings. It's not surprising that Bell is a faction writer as well as songwriter. If his voice didn't slightly betray, in an unaffected way, his Southern roots, his imagery would. . . . bring to mind such Southern gothic writers as Flannery O'Connor and Carson McCullers . . . How could you not like a lyricist who draft lines like: 'After the five and dimes have hit you and after you sold your stolen eyes / sauntering down in a carmine coat / kicking the crap from the road?'" --- WEST COAST PERFORMER

"Delicate, intelligent songs of small town life and longings for change. Bell's warm drawl nestles cozily among the inventive folk-punk instrumentation." --- SCRAM MAGAZINE

UNDER BOXES AND DIRT (1999)

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"Under Boxes and Dirt is a beautiful debut. This is the kind of music that lights up life and proves that to live is to fly." --- COPPER PRESS

". . . there is something oddly riveting about Bell's debut, something altogether heartbreaking . . . there is something in Bell's splintered troubadour style that leaves the listener anticipating more focused folktales in the future." --- SHREDDING PAPER

". . . a pearl in that oyster . . ." --- BAY AREA BUZZ

"It holds up as a singular and compellingly intimate statement of multi-stylistic purpose, gentle intimacy colored at times with noise . . . At every turn, Bell’s soothing voice, deployed with care and restraint, pulls you in closer to the comforting music, making Under Boxes and Dirt a stirring experience." --- TROUSER PRESS

"Deeply textured and nuanced performances that come upon the listener like post-modern folk songs . . . the album is appreciated more with each listen." --- OXFORD TOWN

"A Dylanesque sensibility and a Neil Young-like knack for turn of phrase." --- FLAGPOLE MAGAZINE