Hemming Delivers Strong And Raw Debut Album

‘The Linda Perry Project’ Winner steps out on her own with debut self-titled album Hemming

‘The Linda Perry Project’ Winner steps out on her own with debut self-titled album Hemming

It wasn’t so long ago that I reviewed Hemming’s powerful single “Hard On Myself” for Curve (see review here) a raw and unabashed introduction to Candice Martello – co-winner of Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project.  Hemming returns with her self-titled debut album and it is set for release on 24 July.

Containing the single “Hard On Myself” and the song that first brought Martello to Perry’s attention, “Vitamins” this album is also is backed up with tight rock and folk fore.   Next to the above the biggest and most addictive singles of the album are “Some Of My Friends” and “I’ll Never Be The Man For You”.

A somber affair “I’ll Never Be The Man For You” floats through with Hemming’s trade-mark twang to her vocals and is accented with light guitar riffs.

Slowing down “Paper Crane” is warm and the acoustic guitar line compliments as Hemming croons through the lyrics.  You can’t help but be drawn into the melancholy of it all.

“Home” rocks it up with an up-tempo beat and is just plain fun with its free and easy chorus and is quickly followed by “Give It Away”.   This album is the perfect debut release for Hemming, it’s not over produced and maintains the vulnerable sound that encapsulates who Hemming is as an artist right now.

To celebrate the release Hemming took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for Curve.

Can you tell me what the single biggest challenge has been since you signed with Custard Records?

There is a lot of waiting and uncertainty involved so making concrete plans can be challenging. It is definitely much easier having a team working to help get shows and interviews and spread the word about the album.

I always heard things about major labels controlling artists and was worried I wouldn’t have a say in a lot of things.

Custard is still a small label and the team is great and very easy to talk to, I trust their opinion, most of the time, and they listen to my ideas and take them seriously which is very important to me.

You’ve been touring a lot since your first single release, are there further plans for solo shows once the album is released?

Touring with Rachel Yamagata was an experience I will never forget. She already had an opener for the tour, The Dove and the Wolf, but she took a chance on me and let me join to play four songs before them which was an incredible opportunity that I will be forever grateful for.

I found out I was going on that tour about two weeks before it started so I didn’t really have a ton of time to be nervous or comprehend that these crowds were going to be the biggest I had ever played for, and  that I was going out on stage all alone with these highly personal songs.

I am however feeling a LOT of nerves for the Chris Cornell tour because I have a couple months to think about it. I still get stage fright before every show, I was a quiet kid and attention gives me a lot of anxiety, I hope that this tour will teach me how to deal with that and manage my anxiety.

 “Some of my friends” is a great track and I felt I could relate.  What was the inspiration for the track?

I was inspired by some of my friends! Current, past and future friends. There was no specific friend or event it is really about a ton of people in my life. My friends are part of my family, they mean a lot to me and we all have ups and downs and are there for each other. Each line of that song is about someone different.  I really believe people come in and out of your life for a reason and weather you end up keeping in touch or not you knew each other when you needed to know each other and that plays an important part in getting you to where you need to go.

Tell Curve a little about Linda Perry, watching the show (Make or Break…) she seemed highly engaged in the process, have you spent much time with her since signing to her label?

Yes Linda produced the record so she was highly involved and we spent a lot of time in the studio together. She’s very intense but it’s because she’s very passionate and I really appreciate that.

She knew I didn’t want to make a typical pop record and I wanted it simplistic but a little weird. I wanted the songs to speak for themselves.

I didn’t want anyone to be distracted by over production and she was very good about that. We also get along great. We make fun of each other and share a similar inappropriate sense of humor. I just recently got to see her get inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame which was a really amazing thing to be a part of.

How has leaving Omar impacted (if at all) on your music – did you find it difficult to transition from a band to a solo artist?

I never feel like I left OMAR, that band will always be a part of me and honestly we’ve had about three LAST OMAR SHOWs, so I never feel like its gone. The transition was a little difficult, I went from singing heartfelt fun punk songs with my best friend that we played after drinking a six pack of beers, to what feels like standing up on stage reading my diary all alone to a room full of strangers judging me. It has gotten a little easier after playing certain songs so many times, but it is definitely more emotionally and mentally taxing than being in OMAR ever was.