Saturday, September 9


If yesterday's Everclear post wasn't quite your cup of tea, perhaps a bit of lush-yet-understated, country-inflected pop from New York's Hem will be more successful in transporting you to your special place. These three guys and a girl just released their second album of 2006, Funnel Cloud, on Nettwerk Records. (No Word From Tom, a collection of b-sides, rarities, covers, etc., came out in February.)

Funnel Cloud expands a bit on the band's previous sonic palette (on 2001's Rabbit Songs and 2004's Eveningland). Still, fans should have no problem recognizing the low-key proceedings, extensive-but-unobtrusive instrumentation, and the smooth, lyrical vocals of singer Sally Ellyson. In part because of those vocals, Hem are often compared to Cowboy Junkies, but I personally find Ellyson's voice "lighter" than Margot Timmons' - which is neither a good nor a bad thing... just a different thing.

[Hem's MySpace page.]

[MP3] "I'll Dream of You Tonight"

[MP3] "Reservoir"


[MP3] "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

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