I’d have a really hard time explaining the band Hemlock for Socrates to someone who’s never heard them. What is their music like? Their sound is like cool soil running through your fingers. It’s the zap on the tip of your tongue gently touched against a battery. It’s braving the bitter wilderness with a bow in hand, that shoots laser beams. It is so beautiful. And I think it’s worth mentioning that Heather and Kegan, the brains behind the machine, are just as wonderful as their music.
Their latest release, Cavern, brings their unique sound boldly to life in the comfort of your home. It gives me vibes of Portishead and Massive Attack, but it is certainly its own animal. This 10-track album will lead you through the stalactites to find yourself at the other end.
The album starts with the track “One Way Trip“. This song feels alive, it kind of has a heartbeat almost. It’s dreamy, it’s whimsy, and the crooning vocals make me feel enveloped in darkness. It’s a stunning glimpse of what’s to follow for the rest of the ride.
The 4th track, “Iridescent“, definitely has a base beat/groove that takes me back to some of my favorite electronics from the 90s. The deeply feminine, flowing vocals fill the air like a specter. Check out their live video of the song below – they have a lot of other beautiful videos in this series on their YouTube as well:
“Let us in” is probably my favorite track on the record. The music reminds me of a pitch black night penetrated by a roar of insects. The lyrics paint a vivid picture. Such a simple request, these kindly folk hardly seem a burden. The vocals are so haunting, however, you might want to think twice about sharing your fire with these two (but you still should).
The album ends with a track called “Tunneling“, which is appropriate because you’ve finally made your way out of the Cavern. I’m not sure if that’s what they were going for, but that’s what I’m going with. It is such a powerful, intense ending. The guitar and keyboard shake your soul, and you’ll be thankful you were able to make it out for air. This album is so alluring though, you’ll be back under in no time.