PREMIERE: Hemming gets witchy in the haunting “Counting Stones” video

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Hemming | photo by Mike Dean | courtesy of the artist
Hemming | photo by Mike Dean | courtesy of the artist

It’s never too early in the season for grey tones and haunting tales. So while we’ve still got a month-ish left of summer and its hopes for warm spirits on sunny days, it’s good to remember all those things — the weather, the emotions — are fleeting. A brief interlude from the colder and more contemplative rest of the calendar, particularly autumn, aka the best time of year.

All that’s to say that the new song and corresponding music video from Philadelphia’s Hemming will totally vibe perfectly in a couple months when everybody’s all binge-watching Stranger Things while downing pumpkin lagers, but it’s possibly more powerful now.

Candice Martello, the project mastermind, collabed on the video with Mike Dean, who also directed Hemming’s video for “I’ll Never Be The Man for You.” Like that clip, “Counting Stones” also involves costumes and location shoots, but ups the ante into more suspenseful cinematic territory. Shot in and around Philly last October, it has a definite Pan’s Labyrinth feel of witchiness and fantasy, while the music is a brooding ballad led by piano, e-bow guitar and powerful instrumental swells. Martello says a lot of the new songs she’s been writing for Hemming’s new EP (due out in September) have this vibe: “darker than some of my previous stuff, if that is possible.”

The video was conceptualized by Martello and Dean, with the help of director of photography Mike Ragone. “I’ve always liked the idea of worlds that exist between dream/fantasy and reality,” Martello says, “and I’ve always been a big fan of campy horror movies, mainly because of my brother.” But short of a sideways Evil Dead visual reference or two, this is hardly camp; Martello says it’s provoked a variety of reactions from different viewers thus far, and to me, it feels like a meditation on loss and a search for companionship while everyone around you is changing. Watch it below and see what your takeaway is.

Martello’s bandmates in Hemming Pete Pieczynski and Justin Gorman round out the video’s cast, respectively playing the quest-bound protagonist at the video’s outset and the looming monster at it’s conclusion. The monster costume (those claws are totally going to eff with my dreams BTW) was constructed from scratch by Martello and Stephen Rosania.

“It felt really good to just have good friends working on this and so involved,” says Martello. “I always feel like i need to be as connected as possible to whatever I’m doing and it helps to have such supportive and talented people in my life that can make that happen.”

On the topic of talented friends, Hemming is about to head out on a fall tour with Cayetana; check the full run of dates in the tour flyer below.

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