It rained in Los Angeles this morning. It’s September, and I’m confused. It’s fitting, then, that I’m going to see Hem tonight at the Troubadour (thanks to my first blogger press pass, courtesy of Filter) in support of their new album Funnel Cloud. The album is one of the year’s the year’s more pleasant surprises — I had no idea they had a full-length due after No Word From Tom came out a few months back.

As you’d expect from Hem, it’s graceful, melodic and austere, but unexpectedly, it’s a little rootsier than their usual refined countrypolitan fare. Though songs like “Not California” would fit right in with the rest of their catalog, the usual orchestral curtains are pulled back, revealing a band newly confident in its songcraft and invigorated in its performances. I’m excited to see them play the new material tonight, though I hope they don’t skimp on songs from Rabbit Songs — Hem’s debut, and one of a half-dozen albums I don’t have to think twice about listing in my all-time favorites.

Hem go on at 10 p.m. and tickets are $15 at the door.

Hem – “Not California”: mp3
Hem – “We’ll Meet Along The Way”: mp3

(Buy Funnel Cloud from the band’s own imprint, Waveland Records)