Hudson Valley is releasing their debut EP titled “Seven” on Friday, May 24, 2019. Undiscovered Nashville is very excited about this EP. The first time I walked into The Sutler Saloon and heard them play, I became an instant fan of their music. The band is named for the Hudson River Valley in New York, which is where lead singer, Sarah Owens grew up. Hudson Valley’s music features Sarah’s incredible vocal power and beautiful harmonies. Undiscovered Nashville was able to catch with the lead singer to talk about the band, songwriting, musical influences and their EP.
From the Hudson Valley to Nashville
When Sarah Owens tells people, she is from New York; many assume New York City. However, the Hudson Valley region of New York State follows the Hudson River from between Albany and West Chester County. It is a beautiful area known for apple orchards; in fact, the Hudson Valley is the home of Angry Orchard Hard Cider.
Sarah, like many others chasing their dreams in Nashville, has been singing her entire life. She said, “Singing is what I’ve always wanted to do for a living. Country music is my favorite thing in the world. I have never wanted to be in any other genre of music.” While still singing in New York, Sarah began working with a Nashville based team. The lead singer said, “After traveling back and forth from New York to Nashville every month to write songs, we realized we needed to be in Nashville.” My husband and also the band’s drummer, Richie and I moved to Nashville in February of 2018. We haven’t stopped working since.”
Who are your musical influences?
The first time I heard Hudson Valley play, my immediate thought was Lady Antebellum, due to the female/male harmonies, could be one of their influences. Sarah, a big fan of Lady A, was thankful for the compliment. The lead singer says, “My biggest musical influences are Martina McBride, Faith Hill, and Trisha Yearwood.” She described these ladies as the “BIG” voices of female 90’s country. Sarah’s has a powerful voice in her own right. She believes her voice “is the way it is, from years of “desperately trying to sing like those ladies.
As for the boys of Hudson Valley: Richie Owens on the drums, Matt Farinelli on acoustic guitar, Jamie Collazo on lead guitar, and Andrew Kosek on bass, they are heavily influenced by rock music and old school country. Sarah thinks, “People will immediately get that vibe when they hear our music.”
Struggles and Inspiration
Most songwriters, singers, and musicians will struggle to make a living playing their music. Sarah says, ” It can be a very daunting career choice, you get lots of “No’s” and “Maybe next times.” However, the lead singer said, “If it’s your passion, you have no choice but to overcome. You have to be resilient to do this for a living, and I’m pretty damn resilient.”
We talked about what inspires her songwriting. Sarah said, “As a songwriter, you have to take inspiration from everything. I think that is why I love country music so much. You can write a song about everyday situations, and it works.” Songwriters will have different processes in how they write their songs. Some writers will start with a cool guitar part, and other writers will write lyrics first or have a melody they want to write a song around. For Sarah Owens, “I’m a lyrical person, so that comes first for me. If I’m writing lyrics down, I almost always have a melody in mind already. Then, the music is written around the melody.” She joked, “I hear I do things backwards.”
Stories Behind the Songs
My personal favorites on Hudson Valley’s debut EP “Seven” are “Can’t Have Nothin’ Nice” and “Run Mascara Run.” Sarah wrote, “Can’t Have Nothin’ Nice” about a past relationship. She said, “I think anyone who’s ever been in a toxic relationship can relate to this song.” Personally, this song resonated with me as I reflected on some of my relationships. You can have happiness right in front of you, but can’t seem to stop sabotaging yourself. Instead of working through problems in a relationship, we keep focusing on what is wrong and not appreciating what is right.
“Run, Mascara Run” shows off Sarah Owens’s powerhouse vocals. Every time I have seen them perform this song, I am in awe of her vocal talent. Sarah said, “This song has become a crowd favorite, and it’s my favorite song to perform.” The lead singer said, “The song is about running away from an ex as much as it is about mascara tears running down your face. There is a lot of running in relationships, so we decided to write about it.”
Sarah’s Favorites and Choosing Which Songs to Record
When asked what her favorite songs on the EP, Sarah said, “That’s such a hard question. My songs are my children, and it’s so hard to pick a favorite. After I write a song, it will become my favorite for a while. It starts all over when I write the next one.” When discussing how they chose the songs to record and include on the EP, the lead singer said, “The songs that get recorded are so hard to pick, and it’s even harder to choose them for a record. We have a few songs, which the band has not recorded yet, that are fan favorites. We will play almost every song we’ve written at our show, so I guess the reaction of the crowd helps us decide what to release.”
Hudson Valley’s Future Plans
The members of Hudson Valley are best friends. Sarah said, “If we aren’t playing music together, we are somewhere drinking beer together. That usually leads to us playing music somewhere.” The strong relationship among the band’s members is evident when you see them together. Their immediate goal following the EP release is to tour, but the lead singer said, “We want to play our songs for people, and if we could do that seven days a week, we absolutely would!”
To stay up to date with their shows, you can follow the band on Instagram at HudsonValleyOfficial, on Facebook at HudsonValley, or by going to their website at www.hudsonvalleyband.com.