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Album Review: Hello June - 'Artifacts'

Hello June's much anticipated sophomore album Artifacts really is like opening a box of memories or shared experiences. The album features tracks on birth, death, hope, and grief. All of these tracks are written masterfully by singer/songwriter, frontperson extraordinaire Sarah Rudy.

The album opens with "Sometimes" a track that features a laid back lick on guitar by Rudy. Rudy's guitar when paired with some clever bass lines hold the rhythm steady throughout the track. Rudy ponders about how sometimes we want to cry but can't. A feeling that's all too true sometimes.

"Interstate", the lead single from the album is a gripping song about the loss of Rudy's father to a lifelong battle with addiction. In it, Rudy grapples with some of the too familiar experiences we have when we lose a loved one early, such as ruing opportunities where we could have said "I love you" but didn't. Rudy sings how we can be tied to someone for forever but simultaneously that nothing lasts forever. It's a heartbreaker that you can sing a long to and beautifully done.

"Soft Love" is another track that holds you until the end. Rudy sings about love and how about a partner is enough. She then doubles back and says "But the daytime knows how this one ends / Oh, tomorrow, tomorrow - I hate you, tomorrow". This much is true, Rudy know exactly how to write eloquently about love and loss. She's one of our favorites out there on the scene doing it. If you aren't paying attention you should be.

The album closes with a stirring rendition of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" done in a way that we have not heard before. You will literally hang on Rudy's every word with this album. Artifacts is just that good. We're thinking that this could be a contender for our album of the year. Rudy and Co. come back and deliver more on the promise they showed in 2018 with their self-titled debut. What we can say is that for an album like Artifacts, the time was well worth the wait. Get this one as soon as you can.

Rating - 5/5

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