Force of Nature
Leslie Hudson (they/them/their) is an indie musician, recording artist, and award-winning songwriter. After a decade of teaching in Montessori schools, they left the profession to make music full-time and never looked back. Nine albums and multiple international tours later, Leslie is set to release their 12th solo album, Reset to Factory Specs, this summer.
In 2017, after 4 years of open mics, songwriter showcases, album release concerts, and jamming with friends, Leslie packed their car and headed out on the greatest adventure of their life. Their inaugural Goddess Revolution Tour lasted 6 months, included shows with S. J. Tucker, Tricky Pixies, The PDX Broadsides, The Honey Badgers, Treading Bleu, and dozens more, as they drove through 48 states and 3 provinces, coast to coast, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf. That tour would inspire them to later write their faerie-themed and first crowdfunded album, Keep Left at the Fork.
Inspiration is never in short supply. With special interests in Irish language, East Coast music, Star Trek, folklore, corvids, and poisonous plants, Leslie's albums, EPs and singles cast a wide net. Stylistically, although the piano remains an almost constant, their releases range from folk to rock to jazzy to indie-pop. Thematically, they jump from confessional to sci fi to ancient myth. Their favourite kind of album is one that tells a story, so whether it's the witch in Hansel and Gretel or the Borg Queen, Leslie climbs inside the minds of their characters and gives them a voice.
Their passionate devotion to their craft has earned them a following in many music-loving communities, including bar crowds, pagan gatherings, filk conventions, UU churches, and in dozens of living rooms across Canada and the US. In 2018, Leslie travelled to Germany as the Guest of Honour at Contrapunkt, where they recorded their first live album, the StorySinger set: Live in Germany, a collection of songs from their Wanderlings albums and recordings of the stories they tell between them.
However, touring 6-8 months of the year took its toll and by the end of 2019 it was clear something was wrong. Leslie decided to cancel their obligations in 2020 to stay home to recover their mental health, and they spent that year healing even as their mother was given a terminal diagnosis and passed away in the fall. Turning to the piano, Leslie wrote a song a week and found their way through. In 2021, they released an organic, collaborative project and their first witchy album, Hemlock Honey and Crows. Relaunching their Patreon with a Poisoner School side-quest on its heels, the Deluxe Album soon followed.
As an autistic musician, writer and performer, mental health has been an underlying theme of Leslie's work since their diagnosis at age 34. Their latest album, Reset to Factory Specs, brings recovery from trauma to the forefront and tells another story: this time a personal one. In their spare moments, they can be found with a dog in their lap and a glass of red wine watching DS9.
Reset Scratch Tracks and Demos (09/02)
Reset to Factory Specs (08/05)
Barricades [Single] (07/01)
Mermaid (Radio Edit) [Single] (06/03)
Dance in the Rain (20th Anniversary Release) (04/01)
Pity the Gelth [Single] (12/24)
Hemlock Honey and Crows (Deluxe) (12/03)
Hemlock Honey and Crows (10/29)
Carving Knife (remix) [Single] (08/16)
Pianoless (demo) [EP] (03/05)
the StorySinger set: Live in Germany (05/01)
Keep Left at the Fork (08/09)
Rebirth (20th Anniversary Release) (09/15)
Yeoman on the Bridge (11/22)
The Redhead League (04/08)
The Wanderlings Volume Two (01/27)
Into the Mirror (06/27)
The Wanderlings Volume One (04/16)
Snips and Snails (03/15)
Shades of Winter [EP] (02/01)
Dance in the Rain (05/17)
Quotes & Things of Note
“Hudson seeks to get under the skin of these characters, probe their fictitious souls and, through the raw power of her music, to make them flesh-and-blood, to honor them with real human angst. And the results are nothing short of spectacular.” - Daniel Jun Kim
— Pop Mythology
“Leslie Hudson [is] a navigatrix of thorn-rich thickets...adept at recognizing that living stories are not finished... Give her half a shot at enchanting you, and you'll find your time well spent.” - S. J. Tucker