Hemm’s ‘Skin’ dissolves as slowly as a relationship

Melbourne duo HEMM (the musical pairing of JUICE WEBSTER and ROBERT DOWNIE) have returned with their new single, ‘Skin’, a track that dissolves as slowly as the relationship it voyeuristically watches in on. Refined, restrained and intimate, ‘Skin’ builds on the pair’s proclivity for using their hushed, quietly detailed electronica to explore the everyday complexities of romantic connections.

Of the track, the duo say that “‘Skin’ was written about the last moments of a relationship. When you know it’s over, and you’re glad it is, but there are those kind of last minute, desperate feelings which quickly rise to the surface. Feelings which make you want to be brought in close by that person just one more time. Feelings which make you want to go back to the beginning, just for a small moment”.

‘Skin’ feels caught between the sort of conflicting impulses that colour the dissolution of a relationship: between the pain of letting go and the comfort of staying, between the peaceful resignation that it’s over and the sadness for what it once was, between the twinkling synths that rise throughout the verses and the warbled, wordless vocal interlude that slices the track in half.

At the same time, listening to ‘Skin’ feels like being sucked into those conflicting impulses – and the solace of forgetting and simply doing whatever feels in the moment. It’s appropriate, then, that Hemm don’t end the track with the finality of a full stop but with more of an ellipsis, letting Webster’s vocals trail off into a defeated distance: “And we fell into those years of in between that led us nowhere”.

WORDS BY KYLE FENSOM

IMAGE: Supplied

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