Austin Music Minute

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December 2, 2020

Hug All My Friends

By: Laurie Gallardo

While the sentiment may speak directly to your personal pandemic experience, this is a timeless song.

“Hug,” the first single from Van Mary‘s forthcoming debut release, is a beautiful piece, simultaneously forlorn and badass, capturing images of time in a never-ending moment where time has lost all meaning. Days of the week morph into vague hours. Songwriter/vocalist Emily Whetstone manifests the aching for human connection, and the debilitating anxiety from not knowing when that connection will happen again. It’s almost as if the light at the end of the tunnel keeps pulling away further, but shaky hope drives one to go through the motions: “Guess I’ll have to pretend / got to put on clothes again/ I wanna hug all my friends…”

Van Mary’s Instagram recently included a few behind-the-scenes peeks at an Ice Cream Factory Studio session, where the band recorded their rendition of Willie Nelson‘s “On the Road Again” for Richard Linklater‘s That Animal Rescue Show (the Van Mary track “New Mexico” was also featured). And now, they’re ready to play new music on the next episode of Hotel Free TV, where they share the virtual show line-up with Philadelphia-based self-described drug-pop duo Lovelorn. Catch the show at 8 p.m. (Central) tomorrow night, Thursday December 3, on Hotel Free TV’s YouTube channel.

-Photography by Rachel LaCoss.