Chances are you've heard Nick J.D. Hodgson's music before, whether or not you realise it. As the songwriter and founder member of indie rockers The Kaiser Chiefs, he's been a mainstay on the radio since the early noughties. Then in 2012 he left, not enjoying the constant touring. After five years of writing for the likes of Mark Ronson, John Newman, Hurts, and Ratboy, Hodgson finally wrote a song just for himself, and this led to his debut solo album.
If you were expecting the same kind of anthemic crowd pleasing indie rock produced by his former band, you're going to be surprised. This is however an album of unashamedly feel-good music, which was Hodgson's aim. While opener RSVP is not a great track to start with, but the album picks up well from Honest Face immediately after. Upbeat, fast pace, and with a very singable chorus, it's a joyful track that sweeps you away. Suitable is written about his wife, Anna Hodgson who provides backing vocals throughout, and has a touch of 70s pop about it.
The highlights of the album come in the second half, with Iceberg and Thank You. The former is a pleasing change of place at the half way point, heavy on piano (played by Hodgson himself who plays the vast majority of the instruments on the album) and with a more delicate vocal performance. Thank You is a 60s sounding Beatlesesque song, and was the song written for himself that was the catalyst for this album.
Tell Your Friends is clearly a personal album, without the weight of expectation that clearly came with life in the band. While it wears its' influences on its sleeve, it never crosses into pastiche. The record is consistently entertaining, and is a real grower, getting better with every listen. Stick it on, enjoy, and don't forget to tell your friends.
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