After releasing their whimsical electronic-pop track ‘Dearest Friend’ last month, Melbourne duo HEMM have dropped a video accompanying the song’s earnest lyrics and experimental production.
Made up of Robert Downie (Uncle Bobby) and Juice Webster, ‘one entity split into two halves and separated at birth’, the duo’s name HEMM is a cross between ‘him’ and ‘her’, derived from the Swedish gender neutral pronoun ‘hen’. Aside from its congruence with their Scandinavian style, the term heralds inclusivity and acceptance in today’s gender and racial climate.
A work of art embodying the duo’s ethereal mood, the video juxtaposes the elements of visual binaries to break the barriers between cultural pairings and opposites like gender and race. Drawing emphasis on fusions of movement with stillness, warmth with cool hues, and light with darkness, the video progressively blurs the lines between these qualities until they cease to oppose one other – rather, working together to generate stunning visuals.
Likewise, the overlaid frames of digital, abstract graphics merging with tangible and tactile images of human interaction combine intricacy with simplicity and call attention to the calm content that is found among genuine friends.
In the song itself, the duo pay tribute to this serene harmony through electronics meshed with clean, crisp vocals. Robert and Juice affirm that “trying to find people to engage in genuine and honest conversation can sometimes seem impossible and a little bit exhausting, especially in these current times. Everyone has those special friends, though, that keep them inspired and motivated. No matter how much time passes, you know you will always feel re-energized and loved up after spending time with them. This is a song for those special people.”
Using pairings traditionally described as opposites, HEMM dissolves the tension between them and reflects the peace in fluidity not only sonically and visually but also in matters of race, gender and culture.