Following the release of loose-limbed and vibrant “Reach Out,” Kansas City-based indie rock band Hembree drop it’s pulsating, funk-laced follow-up “Operators (feat, Bodye).” Written in their hometown and recorded remotely from home studios during lockdown, it is the only song of the band’s new releases that is directly about 2020. They’d always wanted to collaborate with their good friend, Bodye, and when Henry Solomon (Haim, Thumpasaurus) joined on saxophone, the track came to life. Vocalist Isaac Flynn has this to say on it: “I wrote it right when all of the protests started in the summer, and the chorus in particular is about when the officers, national guard and even some of the city officials would act like they were with the protestors in solidarity, and then turn around and gas and attack them. That’s where the idea of “they’re saying: tell me where you want me to be, tell me what you want and you need, you can tell me” originated from. They were acting like they were there to help, but it was all for show. It all felt almost cartoonishly villainous to me. I wanted to reflect that in the lyrics and in the dark, dance heavy groove of the song.
“Operators” and “Reach Out” mark the first music Hembree have released since their debut album, 2019’s House on Fire. Coming off a stretch of touring the band were ready to channel the energy of being on the road into their next artistic statement. They found themselves in the studio before the pandemic and when the world shut down, it gave the band an opportunity to look inwards and refine their own sonic approaches while embracing a newfound maturity.
The band have played a handful of shows this year and are excited to announce a return to the stage in their hometown with a show at The Truman in Kansas City, MO on November 26.
Photo Courtesy: Jonny Marlow