When you want to connect to listeners, honesty is obviously a pretty good trait to have as a songwriter. And for Austin singer-guitarist Emily Whetstone, coupling lyrical candor with a cavalier delivery has proven a surefire way to touch her steadily growing fanbase. Backed by a carefully selected crew of close friends and talented players, Whetstone’s alt-rock quartet Van Mary sounds like a rawer, more sincere version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but having only shared a couple singles late last year, they’ve left us itching for more.
Today Van Mary premiered their sole studio offering of 2020, written by Whetstone at the top of the pandemic as an expression of conquering depression in the day-to-day monotony of self-isolation. Produced by Walker Lukens and crowned with woodwind performances from horn-for-hire Sterling Steffen, “Hug” simultaneously captures Van Mary’s knack for dynamic arrangements and overt emotionality in a four-and-a-half minute package. Van Mary celebrates the release with a performance (and subsequent DJ set) at 8PM tonight via Hotel Vegas’ livestream Hotel Free TV and even if you can’t check it out in the comfort of your home, you can still enjoy a sweet embrace that’ll touch you in more than one way with “Hug”.
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