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Funnel Cloud (Bonus Track)

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Editors’ Notes

Funnel Cloud is the third full-length release from Hem, and it’s a moody and elegant work of beauty. The music is soft, intricately arranged, and quietly soulful, and features a wide range of instruments put to inspired effect, including piano, harmonica, cello, violin, dobro, pedal steel, glockenspiel, guitar, and brushed drums. The richly textured songs are anchored to the simmering, understated voice of Sally Ellyson, who sounds similar to Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies (but with greater range). Her vocals are captivating and crystal clear, and she delivers her lines like a poet absorbed with distilling each line to its essence. The lyrical thread running through the album conjures up feelings of loss, hard lessons learned, growth, and redemption, and the carefully crafted music fully supports the emotional weight of the stories being evoked. Cinematic in scope and remarkably focused and detailed in its execution, Funnel Cloud is a stunning album capable of transporting the listener to another place.


Formed: 1999 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The genesis of the New York-based folk outfit Hem goes back to 1999, when songwriter Dan Messe teamed up with producer/engineer Gary Maurer (who had worked with artists such as Jon Spencer, Luna, Fountains of Wayne, and James Iha). The two wanted to make a record that would explore their interests in traditional American music while draping it in contemporary stylings. They enlisted friend Steve Curtis (guitar, mandolin) and, needing a singer, placed an ad in The Village Voice. After receiving numerous...
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Funnel Cloud (Bonus Track), Hem
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