Ten years ago, Samuel T. Herring, leader of the great Baltimore band Future Islands, went on a cross-country road trip with Du Blonde, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Beth Jeans Houghton. A couple of years later, the two of them teamed up for a raucous garage-rock duet called “Mind Is On My Mind.” Back in 2013, the two singers recorded a very different song together, and it’s only just coming out now.
Du Blonde and Samuel T. Herring’s duet “Pelican Canyon” is a lovely acoustic folk song, and the two singers’ voices mesh in very cool ways. In a press release, Du Blonde says, “‘Pelican Canyon’ is a song that’s really close to my heart. It’s a time capsule of one of many trips I took in my early twenties, when the world was still new to me and I was adventurous enough to drive out into the desert with a total stranger. It encompasses a feeling and experience I’ve been looking to recreate ever since.” The song’s video is black-and-white footage of that road trip, and you can watch it below.
So that’s one side of Samuel T. Herring. You can hear another on “Deep In The Night,” the single that Future Islands released a few weeks ago. And you can hear yet another on the two advance singles from The Fall Collection, a forthcoming album from Herring’s rap alter-ego Hemlock Ernst.
Samuel T. Herring has been rapping under his Hemlock Ernst name for a long time, and he’s good at it. In 2019, Herring and producer Kenny Segal teamed up for the shockingly strong collaborative album Back To The House. Since then, he’s rapped on tracks from artists like the Lasso and R.A.P. Ferreira. Later this month, we’re getting a new album called The Fall Collection. It’s a collaboration between Samuel T. Herring, in his Hemlock Ernst persona, and Baltimore underground rap veteran Height Keech.
I haven’t seen Height in many years, but he’s an old friend, and he’s been making underground rap records for more than 20 years. The Fall Collection has been flying under the radar, but it’s a whole Hemlock Ernst record, with Keech on the beats and Herring on the raps. Thus far, they’ve shared the early tracks “Muddy Chuckies” and “Inherit My Speech,” the latter of which features underground rap overlord billy woods. (Earlier this year, Herring sang on billy woods and Kenny Segal’s single “FaceTime.”) Listen to “Muddy Chuckies” and “Inherit My Speech” below.
“Pelican Canyon” is out now on Daemon T.V. The Fall Collection is out 9/29 on Alpha Pup Records.