They are not your ordinary country-folk band. This is no George Straight or Dixie Chicks. I don’t even like country music and I like Hem. It’s that good. As every reviewer seems to say, each song is a world in itself with its pensive lyrics and winsome melodies. Hem is a four-man band with five more musicians that regularly contribute on harmonizing vocals, mandolins, dobros, and glockenspiel. If you know what those last two are then you should already be listening to Hem. If you don’t, then it is high time you found out what delicious instruments they are!
They’ve performed with Wilco, Beth Orton, and Elvis Costello. One reviewer says of them,
[At times they] recall the emotionally stirring sweep of movie music from an age when the best pictures were shot in Cinemascope and orchestras crowded onto sound stages to perform the scores.Their music is perfect for a prairie sunset, a stroll through the acres of Texas, or a rainy summer day on the porch. “Half Acre” feels like an epic movie in 3 and ½ minutes. There is an oboe that pipes up in the margins that will just melt your soul like butter! And when the glockenspiel comes in, you’ll be a goner for sure. The song that sealed the deal for me was “He Came to Meet Me”—a blushing country love song that makes Louisiana in July sound like a perfect place to find Prince Charming. The poetry will enchant you with lines like,
But there is no one whoI’ve used the word “suddenness” regularly since last fall. The invention of a word that everyone can understand is what poetry is all about. Hem is the eyelet lacing to the perfect sundress. It is also a name of a band. Check them out and you might end up wanting to marry a cowboy or cowgirl. By the sounds of it, this is a very good thing.
Could wake my heart like this
Could break my world in two
I felt a suddenness