Performing in front of an intimate crowd at the historic Arts Club of Washington Wednesday night, the singer said the recent theft of his laptop forced him to begin writing all new songs.
"I got my laptop stolen so I was kind of forced to start again, " Hemerlein said. "I had all these working files on my hard drive and I was like, 'What do I do? Do I put some stuff out and hope people like these unfinished ideas or start again?' So I'll be starting from scratch."
Still, the artist can find inspiration in the District.
"This next song is called 'Liquid Grave,'" Hemerlein told the crowd. "I wrote this on the Metro."
Hemerlein said he gets inspired to write his unique melodies and lyrics organically.
"These chords gave birth to the lyrics," he said after picking up his black, seven-string bass guitar. "I wasn't really feeling [romantic] at the time. That's how all my songs are born -- it's always the chords first."
Hemerlein also plays the violin, cello and piano. The piano used last night during Hemerlein's performance was inside the house once owned by former President James Monroe, who occupied the historic Arts Club on Pennsylvania Avenue in the 19th Century.