Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hem - Funnel Cloud

Hem is one of the few bands that is productively mining the intersection of country, folk, adult alternative, and indie-rock. They call their music "countrypolitan," and they do draw heavily on Nashville Sound-era country-pop, but I find that they reference a much wider range of pop musics.

I think that Hem might just be the epitome of the new "Americana" classification. They are a group that is too pop to fit comfortably as alt-country, yet too country to really make it onto pop radio. They also have much more lush and orchestrated arrangements than one normally finds in modern folk, although the singing style would certainly fit there.

I'm linking to some streams from their label Nettwerk. The first, "Not California," shows their diverse influence: it opens with Dylan-esque harmonica and ethereal steel guitar coupled with strong female vocals that build in intensity to something from when alternative was on the verge of becoming adult alternative in the mid-1990s.

Hem - Not California
Hem - He Came to Meet Me

From Amazon