Hembree’s path to success is proving to be as nostalgia-inducing as it is powerful: labor away at home and in fly-by-night studios creating music you love; send your song to the local DJ (yes, on the actual radio) and have him love it so much he plays it immediately; tour and tour and tour and tour and tour; and begin to hear that song on radio stations across America, acting as early beacons to the larger world taking notice.
Hembree, named “Best Artist We Saw at SXSW in 2018” by Rolling Stone and one of NPR’s 2018 Spotlight Artists, released their debut EP “Had It All” (Ribbon Music / Domino Records) in November 2017. Its lead single “Holy Water” was featured in an Apple commercial, debuted on the Billboard Alt Radio chart, and garnered millions of streams. The EP was recorded in the band’s hometown of Kansas City, in lead singer Isaac Flynn’s bedroom and various home studios. Working with friends that the band love and respect, in places they live and work everyday, the convivial environment shines through on these recordings: you can hear their lives in these songs.
In the grand rock’n roll tradition Hembree are family: Isaac Flynn (lead vocals, guitar) and Eric Davis (keyboards, synths) are brothers-in-law and childhood friends. Alex Ward (guitar) and Austin Ward (drums) are brothers as well. Sadly, Garrett Childers (vocals, bass) has to be content with the role of lifelong friend and general bon vivant.
In the past year Hembree has shared the stage with everyone from Phoenix to The Cold War Kids and Elvis Costello. Their nuanced yet incendiary live shows showcases a sonic ambition and clarity of purpose that’s formidable. Hembree’s debut full-length will be released in early 2019.