On her debut solo album as Kind Cousin, Allison Bohl DeHart has crafted a little gem of an album with Tremendous Hem. An album that has taken years to develop and perfect, Tremendous Hem is an ode to the many influences in DeHart’s growth as a singer and songwriter. Throughout the ten tracks, the album echos of her childhood roots in singing in church choirs to her college studies in filmmaking to performing with Louisiana bands like Carbon Poppies and t-kette.
The first thing that is noticeable about the album is DeHart’s voice, which takes on the style of ’50s and ’60s girl group pop. “Gum Wrapper Rings”, the first single from the album, and the superb “Do You Care” take on that era’s bubble-gum pop sound. “Bridges” and “Tremendous Hem” are intimate, whispery bedroom-pop numbers that show the understated, dramatic side of DeHart.
DeHart’s filmmaker side comes out in “Let Loose” and “That Picture”. The former resembles a post-modern art instillation that is intended to challenge your senses and imagination. The latter is dream-like, retrospective affair, taking you back to a time in the past that you long for.
The influence of the deep south, specifically Americana, gospel, and blues, are also heard on the album. Combining these genres with tinges of indie pop, DeHart has created an dreamy, ethereal sound on “Be Right Here”, which is akin to PHOX‘s beautiful landscapes. “Mother”, reflecting on her mother’s baptism and times at church, is the most gospel-oriented tune on the album.
While the album was very much a DIY project, recorded with her husband and drummer Peter DeHart and sound engineer Aaron Thomas, Tremendous Hem was a long project in the making. The songs crafted by DeHart were written over a number of years and fine tuned. DeHart’s meticulous nature was also evident in finding the perfect locale to record her debut album. She didn’t want to be isolated in a studio, but she wanted to be in a setting that fit the mood and tone of her album Eventually, she found an old chapel, where she, her husband, and Thomas lived and worked in for a week to create the record. The result is an enticing and beautiful debut album by an upcoming artist.
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