I’ve been waiting to listen to a full length Hemlock Ernst album for the longest time. Having been a fan of him initially through his work as lead singer of indie rock band as Sam T. Herring Future Islands, I was floored by his rapping ability. He comes through with a brand new album alongside producer Kenny Segal titled Back At The House, and it’s everything I would have hoped it would be.
Firstly, massive shoutout to Kenny Segal. His production chops are incredible as I already knew, and the soundscape he is able to produce on this album is moody, textured and in a way introspective. Hemlock Ernst is as introspective as ever, bringing personal and reflective lyricism to the table, which as mentioned is backed by gorgeous instrumentals. Tracks like “Messy” is a perfect example of this, with intricate samples and a brilliant bassline that captures a soul and aura that’s just so captivating to me. He raps about talking about god and his inner thoughts on life. His intricate wordplay and flow on “Bless The Fire” is mind-blowing to me, with a mystical beat to complement his intense and personal lyrics. The guitar-led melodies on “Addicted Youth” are beautiful, while the angelic, key and string-heavy “The One” is fantastic too. “Jargonne” features this thumping beat and an eerie bassline throughout. “Stone Soup” is stunning too, as Hemlock Ernst’s intricate and personal lyricism shines through again. There’s a lot to digest on this project, not going to lie, but I’m just so happy that this album exists. Thank you Hemlock Ernst and Kenny Segal for this tremendous project.
Listen to Hemlock Ernst and Kenny Segal’s Back At The House below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support!