New acoustic singer/songwriter, Hemming, has broken through the barrier between basement band and sensational songstress. Formerly known as Candice Martello, the Philadelphia native has faced her fair share of struggles in the music world, but her single “Vitamins” catapulted the Drexel graduate into a record deal and overnight success. The young, ambitious musician’s debut self-titled album was released last year.
Hemming provides a mix of raw emotions and remnants of teen angst—each song can pull at her listeners’ heartstrings in different ways. Between her lyrics and ballad-like melodies, some songs will leave audiences in tears, while others will plaster a smile on their faces. Between her jazzy voice and cool instrumentals there is a lot to hear. A variety of bouncy, summer-fun songs are scattered through the seemingly dark-themed album. Although the artwork provides a gray, broken vision, this singer’s material will contradict the initial message.
A fine line is heard between the songs “Home” and “Paper Crane.” “Home” radiates a happy-go-lucky feel, putting a bounce in any listener’s step between the spirited lyrics and poppy melody. This track tells a story of a young woman leaving home for a newfound freedom, played up by excited beats and quickened strums of her electric guitar, which eventually evolves into little riffs echoing a previous melody. “Home” gives Hemming’s audience something to look forward to—but also presents a subtle warning: cherish your childhood years.
Contradicting the vivacious “Home,” Hemming’s “Paper Cranes” picks up a more solemn feel, opening with delicate finger-picking on an acoustic guitar. This track feeds off the residue of her teen troubles but instead of straightforward questions and curses, her lyrics take on a poetic structure, painting pictures to coincide with her soft, soothing instrumentals and melodies. Rather the hate-filled lyrics of today’s angsty bands, Hemming, with nothing but her voice and guitar, plays with visuals and metaphors to convey old feelings. “You left me hanging by a string, gave the illusion I was flying, but I was just suspended in the air, not going anywhere, and you left me there,” is the first verse, playing with the imaginations of her audience to really make them listen—to make them feel, which seems to be her quest in her budding music career.
Hemming holds 10 songs that continue to play with fans’ emotions, but each track packs a complicated message, perfect for decoding to keep your mind sharp. The lyrics are totally relatable and would perfect nearly any playlist. Whether you’re getting over a relationship, or in a funk, this album will cover all your needs.
In A Word: Relatable