Press Release: The long awaited new album from Hem, Departure and Farewell, will be released April 2 on Waveland Records. “Making music that’s categorically neither country nor folk but a flexible citified mix of the two, its songs send one branch toward the hymnal, another into droning soft rock, and a third toward the kind of film music that evokes prairie sunsets…Beautiful,” writes The New York Times of the band’s process.
Hem is Sally Ellyson (vocals), Dan Messé (piano, accordion, glockenspiel), Gary Maurer (guitar, mandolin), and Steve Curtis (guitar, mandolin, banjo, back-up vocals). Departure and Farewell was co-produced by Maurer and Messé and recorded at Sear Sound. Of the new release, Messé notes, “Hem has always been about endings in one way or another (we were named after the ending of a dress, after all), but never more so than here in these songs.” Ellyson furthers, “This album is about loss, about the fear of loss and about the trajectory of life…it was one of the more emotionally resonating albums to record.” See below for full track listing.
Formed in 1999, Hem self-released their debut Rabbit Songs in 2002 to critical acclaim, establishing themselves as one of the most promising bands to emerge from Brooklyn. Since then, they’ve released four full-length albums, including the music for the 2009 Public Theatre production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, for which they received a nomination for Outstanding Music in a Play for the 2009/2010 Drama Desk Awards.
1. Departure and Farewell
2. Walking Past the Graveyard, Not Breathing
3. Things Are Not Perfect In Our Yard
4. The Seed
5. The Jack Pine
7. Seven Angels
8. Gently Down the Stream
9. Bird Song
10. Traveler’s Song
11. The Tides at the Narrows
12. Last Call 13. So Long