Monday, 30 June 2008
Again, the best description is to actually hear them, and so here is a video we filmed of them at EOTR Festival, performing (most of (it was too long a song for our remaining camera memory!)) Damien:
They obviously sound even better than that in person. Anyhow, afterwards I promptly bought their self-made ep, and have pretty much been listening to it regularly since last September (9 months now!)- there were three different ep covers available, and I chose this nicely coloured one:
I've since seen them two additional times, including at Union Chapel a couple of weeks ago, at a lovely free day-time gig, and was almost jumping for joy in my pew when they announced that their debut album was going to be released two days later, and that they had albums for sale with them that day.
The album can currently be listened to (although maybe only for a limited time) here at last.fm, and has nine great songs- including the four songs from the ep, which makes listening to it a bit disjointed for me at the moment, but only until I get to know and love the remaining five songs as much.
They're rather fab. Even drownedinsound liked them. Should that be enough to convince you!
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
I shall say some more in case you are not convinced, but if you like(d) Hjaltalín, then you will surely like the 'Hemm. I think they even share some horn players, in some big happy horn-swapping family kind of way. But they use a lot more horns. Horns are what Benni Hemm Hemm are about, even though Benni himself just sings/plays a guitar.
Their first self-titled album is probably the best place to start with them, half in Icelandic, half in English. Plus it has the greatly named I Can Love You In A Wheelchair Baby- not only does he sound pretty much like Jens Lekman, but he has also duetted with him as a bonus track for BHH's second album, Kajak, and then also had Jens Lekman sing in Swedish for Benni Hemm Hemm's cover of JL's Maple Leaves on BHH's limited release mini-album, Ein Í Leyni, released at the end of 2007 (if that strange sentence made sense!).
Anyway. After that giant gap of half a year or so, Benni Hemm Hemm are back! With their new colourful-looking album called Murta St. Calunga:
At the moment, this can only be bought from Iceland, from their new Icelandic label (same as that Hjaltalín band's label) Kimi Records, but you get a nice immediate download of the album straight away if you order the cd (or just a standard cheaper download-only version should you prefer). This time there are two songs in English (after having consciously moved away from any English sung songs for the past couple of releases), including Whaling In The North Atlantic. I've only listened to the album about 4 or 5 times so far, but I'm really liking it- lots of lovely pieces of instrumentation also.
A few more of their songs can be heard on their myspace, which just leaves me to end with one of the songs which begins the Benni Hemm Hemm story (providing you ignore their very first ep release, which I don't have, and so I shall)- live at the Luminaire in London in November 2006, with us sat back in deckchairs watching the great show; here is Beginning End:
Thursday, 12 June 2008
The singer seems to sometimes do a talking type of singing, and somehow seemed like a splice of the singers from Pulp, The Real Tuesday Weld, and Misty's Big Adventure. To me at least. And then with lovely strings, and lyrics about a boy/girl coming all over him, and the general epic-sounding'ness of it all. Two songs can be download from their Myspace, and you really should go download the giant 10 minute beauty that is Mysterious Skins- not a minute of it feels wasted or unneccessary. & then just listen to it repeatedly (my 25th play right now, says my music player, although it's been more really).
The other two non-downloadable songs on their myspace can be got from their 10" vinyl that they have released. A picture, see:
So yes, back to that earlier mention of them playing a gig- t'was at The Big Chill House, and they were as good as I was hoping for. We even filmed some of their songs, but unfortunately Mysterious Skin is above the 10 minute limit that youtube likes, but Terra Firma fits in with a whole minute and three quarters to spare, see:
The sound isn't perfect, but that's more a result of the camera than the sound of the band/gig itself (which was great), but it should give you a rough idea.
Am very much eagerly awaiting further releases and gigs from these chaps and chapesses.
Ooh la-di-da, ooh la-di-da-da!