Gig Seeker Pro


Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF | AFM

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Indie




"Alternative Press AP&R Artist"

Most musicians form a band, then put out a record. Hemmingbirds did it backward: Guitarist Yoo Soo Kim and drummer Zach Benkowski wrote and recorded their debut LP, Death Wave, before the rest of the members joined. “The goal was to have a record to share, then put together a band to play those tracks,” says Kim. “It kind of worked out well that way, because we were able to play shows to gain a fanbase and were already able to offer an album for them to listen to.” Hemmingbirds have now released their sophomore album, The Vines Of Age, and are preparing to tour. “One of our main goals is to weave some beautiful arrangements with moments of dissonant chaos,” says Kim. “Hopefully that comes across.” - Alternative Press

"Block 2 Block: Hemmingbird's Yoo Soo Kim talks about Lincolnwood"

Vocalo’s Block 2 Block series looks at various Chicago neighborhoods through the eyes of the musicians who are living and creating music in them. This week, we’re talking about Lincolnwood with Yoo Soo Kim. Yoo Soo Kim is with the band Hemmingbirds and he’s from Lincolnwood. Vocalo host Jesse Menendez joins us to talk about the music of Lincolnwood. - WBEZ (Chicago's NPR station)

"Best Chicago Emerging Artists of 2012"

Best Chicago Emerging Artists of 2012
[Chicago Scene Blog HERE, Chicago Indie Charts HERE] - The Deli Chicago

"New Chicago Music"

Just got the new set from Hemmingbirds this afternoon and it’s a beaut. The Vines of Age is a big leap from their debut of 2010. I’m at cut six and I haven’t heard anything less than damn good, yet. - 93XRT - 93.1 FM

"Hemmingbirds' debut album delivers wave of indie rock emotion"

Currently a quintet, Hemmingbirds began in late 2009 as a solo project of frontman Yoo Soo Kim. In the project's early stages Yoo Soo recorded Death Wave with only the help of drummer Zack Benkowski, which seems particularly impressive when taking in the full, driving sound of the record. - Examiner

"Around Hear - Local Band Review"

Freshly scrubbed indie-rock doesn’t come much brighter than that produced by Hemmingbirds. Generous, swelling anthems unravel with ribbons of jubilation and big, boisterous tunes blossom on Death Wave. Reverb-soaked “Perpetrator” tingles with a soaring chorus and chiming guitars; “Resolutions” and “Old Fire” sparkle with the same room-filling ambience and swollen orchestration that made Arcade Fire indie darlings. “Treetops” is yet another standout, wrangling syncopated percussion to a free-flowing, folksy twang. Death Wave is a gorgeous, lush album, bursting with incredible songs. (www.hemmingbirds.com) - Illinois Entertainer

"Best of 2011"

#5 - Hemmingbirds - Mellow Gold Haze
Love the flow of this, the melody, the rhythm and the general 90’s poptastic feeling it gives me. - Bandcamp Hunter

"Get Personal with Hemmingbirds"

No matter the mood, the album manages to maintain a potent energy throughout, due in part to the passion and vigor of the instrumentation and in part to Kim’s vocals - tender and moving, though not overly sentimental. And the lyrics, though at times melodramatic, seem refreshingly honest and personal. We’ll be interested to see if their sophomore album maintains this sincerity and simplicity with four more members to take part in the creative process. - Chicagoist


Death Wave
The Vines of Age
Half a Second



Hemmingbirds came into formation through the scattered collection of songs by Yoo Soo Kim. Navigating relationships and the uncertain future, he bunkered down in the echoey chamber that was his basement and hashed out ten recordings that became Hemmingbirds' debut, Death Wave. Described by TimeOut Chicago as "a pleasant surprise," the album is expansive with guitars, bass, drums, strings, and choir arrangements. As such, members Zach Benkowski and Tim Cap joined the band to bring those recordings to life.

Together, they created the band's second record, The Vines of Age. The album is conceptual, as it unfolds with a narrator awoken by the sounds of howling spirits in his dream world. Within himself, he comes to battle his personal demons, his future self, and resolves by crashing through the aether back to reality. Carrying on with with their chamber pop arrangements, the concept is carried upward and downward with soaring melodies and string arrangements with an all around sound noted as "heavier, noisier, and more soulful." 

The band plans their next release, Half a Second, due out in fall 2015. 

Hemmingbirds has been featured in Alternative Press and NPR and charted #47 on CMJ's Top 200.

Band Members