MUSIC

Mr. Hudson Talks Isolation and Billie Eilish

Atmospheric dreamscapes, catchy pop melodies and sci-fi moodiness.

Mr. Hudson

Mathieu Cesar

Mr. Hudson recently dropped a new album, entitled When the Machine Stops, featuring Vic Mensa, Taylor Bennett, Goody Grace, Petite Noir, Josh Dean & Schae.

Hudson describes the music as "sad robot music," an exploration of isolation in a digital world, enhanced by Hudson's decision to produce and mix the album on his laptop computer.

When the Machine Stops is his first album since 2009's Straight No Chaser. Since then, he's released a series of collaborative singles: "Zombie Love," "Screwed," featuring Zoe Kravitz, "I See Love," featuring Joe Jonas. He's worked with Kanye West and on Kid Cudi's album, Kids See Ghosts.

Popdust sat down with Mr. Hudson to find out more about feeling secluded even when surrounded by people and Billie Eilish's influence on his sound.

Mr Hudson - CHICAGO feat. Vic Mensa (Official Lyric Video) youtu.be

How would you describe yourself?

I'm a musician: singer, producer, writer, and, at the moment, an Englishman in L.A.

What is the most trouble you've ever gotten into?

I was once chased through the streets of Camden by the police. I didn't realize they were chasing me. I was just jogging to the studio. They thought I'd stolen a bag.

What's your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?

Probably "Life On Mars" by David Bowie.

Who is your favorite music artist?

David Bowie.

How did you get started in music? What's the backstory there?

I was lucky to have older brothers who were passionate about music, so it was normal for me. We had a piano and guitars in the house. My parents were very tolerant of our heavy metal experiments.

Why make music? I mean: What's the point for you?

It's been my life since I was 8. I was a small kid for my age, so sport wasn't fun. Music made me feel ten feet tall. It's the closest thing I have to a religion.

Rumor has it your new album, When the Machine Stops, was influenced by Billie Eilish's moody style. What do you find intriguing about her sound?

I just loved how quiet the vocals were to the point of claustrophobia. Quiet is the new loud, it seems. Finneas' production is silly good. I love the fact that they made the record in his room on Logic.

The new album was crafted on a laptop rather than in a glitzy studio. What motivated you to move in this direction?

It just felt more in keeping with the times. It's so much quicker, and the software is catching up with all the big expensive hardware. Plus, you can work anywhere rather than saying, "I'll do it when I get to the studio."

There's a remote, secluded savor to the songs on the album – a feeling of isolation. What induced this "lonely" mood?

I spend a lot of time alone and the record was mostly made in solitude, often with headphones on at the airport or in a hotel room. I produced it and mixed it, so I just had to lock myself away with my laptop and get it done. To be honest, the life of a musician can be isolating. Even when there are lots of people around, you're not necessarily with your people.

What's next for you, musically?

I've been working on music for others, which has been refreshing. It's been a pleasure working on new songs with John Legend, and I'm excited by a new artist called Duckwrth. Get familiar!

Will you be doing any touring?

I'll do some shows towards the end of the year. Probably quite a minimal setup. Piano, suit, good bottle of wine.

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Current owner Jeff Lowe claims there are bodies, including "a young American Indian boy," buried on the property

It was recently reported that Carole Baskin had been awarded the property of the Tiger King Zoo—formerly the G.W. Zoo—in Wynnewood, Oklahoma after a judgment found in her favor.

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Now that Exotic is in prison for attempting to have Baskin murdered—along with illegal animal trafficking and several violations of the Endangered Species Act—a judge has finally ruled that the park is hers, and she will be taking over ownership of the 16-acre property later this year. But Jeff Lowe—the park's current owner and the personification of a mid-life crisis—insists that there are no hard feelings, saying, "She deserves this property."

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MUSIC

Pop Stars Unite for Reproductive Rights: Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and Lady Gaga Protest Abortion Bans

Nearly 140 musicians have joined a campaign in support of Planned Parenthood.

Some of pop's brightest stars have come together in support of a new Planned Parenthood initiative called "Bans Off My Body."

Nearly 140 musicians have pledged to support the reproductive rights organization, including Kacey Musgraves, Nicki Minaj, John Legend, Haley Kiyoko, Miley Cyrus, Bon Iver, and Nine Inch Nails. Other luminaries on the list include The 1975, Carole King, Mitski, Maggie Rogers, Megan Thee Stallion, Kim Gordon, Halsey, Princess Nokia, Vic Mensa, Troye Sivan, and many more.

Some of these artists have spoken out about reproductive justice before, such as the 1975's Matty Healy, who delivered a tirade about the topic at a concert in May. "The reason I'm so angry is because I don't believe [the abortion ban] is about the preservation of life, I believe it's about the controlling of women," he said.

Bon Iver also has an organization called 2ABillion, which supports gender equality (we love a feminist dude). And of course, Halsey, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, and many of these artists have made significant contributions to feminism in their own ways, speaking out about assault, body positivity, and more. Ariana Grande donated $250,000 in proceeds from a June show to Planned Parenthood, and hopefully, more artists will follow suit.

Noticeably absent from the list is Taylor Swift, whose newly liberal persona and love of LGBTQ+ rights wasn't enough to get her to join the list. (To be fair, lots of other famous artists didn't appear, like Lana Del Rey and Cardi B, both of whom have become notoriously political). Still, in the case of something this urgent, silence is its own kind of statement.

Following the announcement of the "Band Together, Bans Off" initiative, some of the featured artists took to social media to raise awareness about the message.

Billie Eilish—whose newest album just became this year's most streamed on Spotify—said, "I'm proud to be standing up for Planned Parenthood as they fight for fair and equal access to reproductive rights. We cannot live freely and more fully in the world when our basic right to access the reproductive health care we need is under attack. Every person deserves the right to control their body, their life, and their future."

According to Planned Parenthood's website, "Musicians across the country are standing in solidarity with Planned Parenthood….they're saying access to sexual and reproductive health care is about the same type of freedom that allows them to create music and speak their truth—because no one is free unless they control their own body." It seems that, no matter what kind of music or art these musicians create, reproductive justice is something that they all can agree on.

Why is reproductive freedom such a popular consensus among musicians? It might have something to do with the act of creating art itself. "Music is storytelling," said Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood's acting president/CEO. "If you go back to the origins of movements for equality and freedom, and the very rights that control our bodies, it starts with telling stories about your own experience and then defying people [who] judge you."

billboard.com

Planned Parenthood's new campaign is intended to raise awareness and spread information about their mission. They hope to garner 500,000 signatures on their online petition by January 20, 2020, which is the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that cemented a woman's right to choose in American legislature.

The campaign comes at a critical time, due to harsh new policies in states like Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. Right now, the ACLU is currently fighting Missouri's Unborn Act, which would prohibit abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, even in cases of rape and incest. Just this week, Planned Parenthood announced its decision to abscond from Title X, meaning it will no longer be receiving federal funding. Previously, the organization was given about $60 million per year in federal funding, which enabled them to perform 1.5 million abortions for low-income people in need of reproductive care.

Of course, this campaign has garnered outrage from Catholic and conservative publications. While it is fair to say that not all women who undergo abortions want to get them, the truth is that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetimes—meaning that you probably know many people who have had one. If these strict and drastic laws continue to gain traction, more people will be forced to undergo dangerous, covert abortions when they could have received safe, free care.

Sign the Planned Parenthood petition here.