Genres: Folk
Decades: 2000s


The majority of bands to emerge from New York City, USA during the late 90s seemed to all be cut from the same musical cloth (namely 70s era CBGB’s bands such as Talking Heads, the Ramones and Television), but there were exceptions to the rule, such as the roots/folk quartet, Hem. The band was originally formed in spring 1999, when main songwriter Dan Messé (piano/glockenspiel/harmonium) united with producer Gary Maurer (guitar/mandolin). A mutual friend of the two, Steve Curtis (guitar/mandolin), soon signed on as well, but finding a singer proved to be a bit harder. An advertisement was placed in the New York publication, The Village Voice, and one of the responses was from a singer who sent in a tape of children’s lullabies. There was no denying that Sally Ellyson’s voice fitted the band’s gentle music perfectly, and soon afterwards, Hem was officially born.

A recording contract with the indie label Bar/None...

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