Hello Emerson Announce To Keep Him Here LP Out March 29

Article Contributed by Girlie Action Media | Published on Saturday, February 3, 2024

Today, the Columbus, OH based indie folk act Hello Emerson has announced To Keep Him Here, their latest LP, due out March 29th via Anyway Records. A concept album telling the story of a serious and sudden accident suffered by primary singer-songwriter Sam Emerson Bodary’s father, the record is interspersed with audio from an interview conducted with NPR’s StoryCorps about the incident and its aftermath. Alongside the album announcement, the group have shared the album’s first two tracks, “‘It was twelve-ten’” and “Tupperware for Glass.” While “‘twelve-ten’” serves as an introductory interlude using audio of Bodary’s father setting the stage for his accident, “Tupperware for Glass” kicks off the album proper. Detailing the initial confusion of the accident, Bodary sings “I see every song unspooling / rearranging and retuning / til they settle on / the only things we know / we live and we die /and in-between we grow.” The track serves not only to set the album’s action, but also introduces the record’s themes of mortality and resilience: “This is the thesis statement of the album,” says Bodary. “All of my favorite music and literature boils down to this. How will we grow from this? In spite of this? Because of this? The whole point is our attempt to make sense of the world around us.”

“‘It was twelve-ten’” and “Tupperware for Glass”

Listen / Watch

Consisting of singer/guitarist Bodary, percussionist and musical director/arranger Dan Seibert, and keyboardist Jack Doran, Hello Emerson has been crafting subtle, earnest, and expansive songs since its formation in 2015. Drawing on the midwestern songwriting tradition of acclaimed acts like Bright Eyes and The Mountain Goats, Bodary’s erudite yet homespun lyrics are bolstered by the group’s increasingly baroque arrangements. A collaborative act inspired by the local artistic community of their home base of Columbus, Ohio, their 2020 sophomore effort, How to Cook Everything featured contributions from 50 local musicians, creating an immersive and complex yet folky and accessible sound.
Their latest effort, the forthcoming To Keep Him Here further develops and focuses their style, while applying it to a set of darker themes. A concept album, the record delves into the chaos and confusion that followed a serious accident suffered by Bodary’s father which landed him in the ICU for nine days. Across the record, Bodary uses his measured yet honest lyrical voice to articulate and sort through the terror of the experience, and the strength which pulled him and his family through. Tracked live in his godfather’s home, the band’s physical proximity lends an added layer of intimacy to the tracks, all while maintaining Seibert’s subtle yet sweeping arrangements. The result is the band’s strongest effort yet; a record of hope and fear, To Keep Him Here finds beauty in the kind of compassion which can only arise from disorder.

To Keep Him Here Tracklist:
1. “It was twelve-ten”
2. Tupperware For Glass
3. In The Corner
4. “Trying to be helpful”
5. Church
6. Sale Today
7. Dinners I
8. Sale Today Canon
9. “So, why?”
10. Couch Song
11. To Keep Him Here
12. Dinners II
13. Tough Luck