Producer Hurley Mower Leans Back And Cruises Toward The Unexpected

Photos by Michael Salisbury

Photos by Michael Salisbury

Essential Listens

Ned Hurley Mower, creating as Hurley Mower (pronounced “mao-er’), produces music bouncing along with a life of its own. Versatility is what he strives for, and his beats always levitate. He believes in his influences, and wants to create something that reflects the true him, music at its most honest.

Hurley Mower began with guitar, then as a teenager discovered production. He liked the ability to create without rules. The transition wasn't difficult, and while “originally I was a guitar player…when I was 16 or 17 I discovered Ableton software. I was obsessive about music…producing and composing became my instrument.” He began releasing music only 2 years ago.

An electronic producer, Hurley Mower's sensibility comes from hip-hop. As a producer “I heard all these awesome hip-hop tracks. Once I understood how a beat is made, I immediately tried…to match that, figure out a way to emulate that.” The songs have a little bit of everything, but hip-hop's in its bones. From the music's bounce to its samples, “the foundation of it, the drums, the way it makes your head bob, very much based on the classic beat-makers.” He believes in honoring your influences.

Hurley Mower's beats have broad appeal, “right in between, walking that line between chill and turn up...driving music…on the highway with my friends, bobbing heads.” That balance means his music can be heard, like hip-hop, in any context. Morning, noon, and night, "when I’m waking up and when I’m super t’d up." The key is catchy-ness, and Hurley says “I am very melodically inclined...that’s when I have those moments where it’s a very specific vision...Melody for me is everything…it definitely delivers some sort of catchy-ness in my music, that’s always the goal…I search for that, and when I find that simple melody, I build on it.”

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He wants to make people move, and create honest music reflecting his true self. It's why he came upon the name 'Hurley Mower', separating daytime Ned and the nighttime beat scientist, but never fully closing off one identity from the other. “I never wanted an alias, but at the same time I wanted something that separated me and music.” Hurley Mower also shies away from the label of EDM. Being pinned down to one sound is the last thing he wants.

That philosophy has resulted in a lot of love. He’s got a large online following, Spotify and Soundcloud plays well in the millions. He notes that “it’s true that I have a very poppin’ social media game, but am very new to the Chicago scene. It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought to because everybody is on their own clock…sometimes thing are what they are.” He’s got a great story of resourcefulness building up his fan base – lending beats to YouTube vloggers in exchange for linking to socials accounts. The music was strong enough to hook a listener once they found him.

He now has a project called Just Because on the way, following up an EP from this spring, Home Cooked.  Both demonstrate Hurley Mower’s macro philosophy as an artist. Home Cooked, named after a desire to prove that he could create out of his bedroom, “was to exemplify some sort of versatility…the different kind of feels that I can create… I like to step into vibes, to listen to lots of different music.”

That variety means Hurley Mower has made a ton of music with nowhere to go. He wants Just Because to be that space for the deserving loosies with no home, an island of misfit toys. Expect a diverse sound. Not your usual album, he's breaking down the release process structurally. Intending to drop Just Because not at once but song by song, with the hope that “people wonder what’s coming next from me, instead of just knowing what’s coming next off a pin point style of music that’s being created.”

Hurley Mower plans on making moves on festival sets and live DJing, and long term sees success as the opportunity to collaborate with his heroes. But more than anything, Hurley Mower wants to make something that stands on its own, leaving an impression. Listen to music at its best, and "you hear something that's different to you, that you haven't heard before, something that you didn't expect. The best songs have those aspects, the first time you hear something it's almost a little odd,  a bomb in your brain and the idea lays rest, opening it up for you. People have an open mind when they hear something they haven't heard before, or something they weren't expecting. I enjoy the process of surprising myself and surprising other people...I genuinely make music because I love to do it, and it's always been 100% honest."  

With Hurley Mower, every track is a surprise, and we can't wait to see what else he has in store for us.