Indie rockers Yoo Soo Kim (Hemmingbirds) and Jesse W. Johnson stripped down to the bare essentials for an emotional, compelling session showcasing Johnson’s storytelling and Kim’s multi-instrumental talents. Unfortunately, a technical problem nuked all of our recordings of the session. You really should have been there.
Speaking before the show, Yoo Soo and Jesse said playing Stars Align was like getting the band back together for them. The pair started playing together nearly a decade ago at the University of Illinois in Champaign.
“We were playing open mic nights and I sent an email out saying, ‘who wants to form a band?’ and after a lot of horrible auditions I met Yoo Soo and we started one,'” Johnson said.
That band, called Post Historic, lasted until Yoo Soo left Champaign to return to Chicago, where he started Hemmingbirds, while Jesse started the now-defunct band Jet W. Lee. In coming back together Jesse said he contributed straightforward folk and country, while Yoo Soo said he’s more like the Brian Eno of a band, adding layers of instrumentation and atmosphere to each track.
While we don’t have a recording of their session, we do have two promotional videos the pair recorded before the show to give you a little bit of a taste of what their collaboration looked like. Additionally, the pair collaborated again for the recording of Johnson’s E.P. Primal Scream, which we’ve embedded below.