Perhaps it's the lilting, soothing vocals of Sally Ellyson, or the beautifully melodic arrangements which include instruments such as slide guitar, woodwinds and strings quite regularly. There is really something classic about their sound. It seems to suit perfectly the soundtrack to an emotional farewell.
The first track I remember falling in love with was Curtains, the 11th song from their album Funnel Cloud, which you can listen to and download here. I loved the piano, strings, feelings of sadness and farewell, and lack of a strict tempo - the song really breathes.
And then there is such thought and depth to the lyrics. From this same song, Curtains, is the line:
Sent him voices on a postcard so he wouldn't know I'd gone
A folded bird who all my words fell on
Such an interesting way to express a feeling.
At times, Hem's music moves into country territory and away from the cinematic and mournful. It is in the latter that I find the greatest connection.
To discover more of Hem, my recommendations for further listening are as follows, and all are available to stream from the embedded players below:
- Great Houses Of New York
- Almost Home
- Departure and Farewell
- Traveler's Song
- Pacific Street