Sports, the new album by Eurekan social worker/electronics hoarder Hudson Glover, aka Huddyglo, is a surprising delight.
Surprising because his musicianship is above-average in Humboldt, and the mostly poppy, meandering sweet songs on this record are quite delightful.
Tinkly dreamy melodies recall bands of the ’90s, like Galaxie 500, Pizzicato 5, Blonde Redhead and even harmonically Belle and Sebastian.
The basically one-man band Huddyglo is somewhat of a virtuoso, playing multiple instruments on the album, all recorded and processed with what Hudson calls “the most impractial and time consuming ways” including recording almost 100 percent old reel to reel and using tape recorders, tape echos, and close to 30 of his beloved keyboards, including Casio’s first keyboard, the sk5, beloved by my little brother and thousands of other 15-year-olds in the ’80s and ’90s for recording fart sounds and playing them back tonally.
The first track Be My Sequencer, Huddyglo’s most accessible and singable song, is a hymn to old-fashioned music technologies. With an uptempo beat and charming harmonizing, even my two year old likes it. Ain’t Going Out Tonight, recalls some of the buttery Jeremih’s Late Nights, with its shuffling staccato beats and introspective mood.
Chair of Blue with its piano chord tracks eching that great ‘90s dance group Black Box, is perfect for dance aerobics, while Friendly Combos has some gorgeous more extended trance dance bits, and title track Sports gets jazzy with lots of Sade-style chord jumps and some lucid vibraphone over a baseline reminiscent of The Hustle in some parts.
Sports has it all – glockenspiel, cello, sweet drum samples, fun electronic effects, and lots of joy. Hudson’s sweet nature and unruined sincerity make this labor-intensive recording a real pleasure to put on. Sheltering in place has some silver linings, and that artists have the time and space psychologically to make dense fun records like this one are high on the list.
All of Huddyglo’s catalogue, including Sports and his previous albums, are up on Spotify; Sports is also available for free on Soundcloud. The beautiful videos for Be My Sequencer and Trip on My Tongue are also labors of love, and well worth a watch, both as works of art and also to see what the kids are up to – look them up on YouTube.