With his debut, the L.A.-based singer wanted to balance the feminine and masculine elements in his music. The classically trained musician–who plays every instrument on the record, including violin, cello, piano, bass and guitar–manages to do this by finding a happy medium between his sweet orchestral compositions and harsher industrialized beats.
On the album’s title track, Hemerlein uses deep, warped synths to play off the naughty meanings behind the phrase “blue film,” a euphemism for pornography in India. But counteracts some of the song’s creepiness with plucky strings that make the track seem more heartfelt than lecherous.
With his cover of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, he drops down to a F-sharp major, putting a seedy spin on Danny and Sandy’s love song. While the 7-minute track “#88” is a lovelorn plea that has him sweetly cooing, “Oh I won’t turn back/I need to know,” over a string interlude that sounds like it’s straight out of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”
Blue Film is out February 25 on 4AD.
Lo-Fang kicks off a spring tour opening for Lorde on March 3 in Austin, TX.