West Virginia indie rock group Hello June will release a new album entitled Artifacts on October 6 via 31 Tigers Records.
Artifacts is the group’s second album and their first in five years, following their self-titled debut in 2018.
“I landed on the title because if there’s one thing we’re left with, it’s memories of other people: artifacts that we take with us through life,” says frontperson Sarah Rudy.
Hello June’s songs are so emotionally open and resonant that they sometimes feel like leaps of faith. The group thrives on dissecting a feeling with a disarming, scalpel-like precision. It’s this clarifying honesty that’s garnered the band rave reviews from NPR, Paste Magazine and No Depression, among others. Across 11 gorgeous and raw tracks, Rudy sings about death, birth, hope and despair with grace and nuance. The first single from the forthcoming album, “Interstate,” is a courageous, affecting tune about the death of Rudy’s father after a long battle with addiction.
Artifacts was recorded in Nashville at Bell Tone Recording with producer Roger Alan Nichols, featuring personnel of Rudy on vocals and guitar, Paul Niehaus on pedal steel (Calexico, Iron & Wine, Justin Townes Earle, Lambchop), Caleb Crosby on drums and percussion (Larkin Poe, Noah Gundersen), and Nichols on guitar (The Veronicas, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown).
The textures and arrangements the band experiments with on Artifacts are warm and adventurous – take “California,” which introduces New Wave synths to color in the song. It’s a sprawling track that finds Rudy singing, “You called me pretty under street lights / I caught you lookin’ now we can’t look away.” Elsewhere, songs like “Honey I Promise” and “23” are propulsive rockers that evoke both early Big Thief and Drive-by Truckers.