Since early this decade, when bands such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs emerged from New York’s trendiest borough, Brooklyn, NY, has been a hotspot for promising new acts (such as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) as well established acts looking for a music-centric home away from home (think former Philly locals Marah and Matt Pond PA). Flying under the hipster radar all along has been Hem, whose beautiful 2002 debut, “Rabbit Songs,” generated buzz with its mix of rootsy Americana, dreamy chamber music arrangements and, most notably, the soaring voice of Sally Ellyson. The band’s follow-up, “Eveningland,” got equally strong reviews (“If Rabbit Songs suggested Hem was one of the most promising new acts of the decade,” raved No Depression magazine, “then ‘Eveningland,’ quite simply, delivers on that promise”) and Ellyson and gang are back on the road in support of “No Word From Tom,” a collection of “covers, rarities, outtakes, demos and live recordings.” The band plays World Café Live on Feb. 28. —T.H.
Originally published on February 23, 2006