Henry Green’s Half Light is more than a Lo-fi Album


Henry Green, an indie, electronic, and folk music producer ventures into new realms of songwriting and instrumentation in his 2020 album, “Half Light.”

Albeit a little underproduced, Green’s composition including his incredible vocal harmony and intentional sound design help give the album an intimate feeling.

Aspects that help with this feeling are Green’s unique vocals present in the first track, “All,” in which his songwriting and feminine voice play a pivotal role in establishing the message of the album. As the first half of the song continues, the backing instrumental beat and chords become more apparent, enveloping his voice pleading to “Call the words out from me.”

Similar to artists like Potsu, a heavy emphasis is placed on chord progressions, becoming a trend through the album. Although it’s a slow start, this helps establish the style and framing of how songs on the album will feel in context with one another. It shows how Green can mold choral phrases into electronic and funky-sounding percussive sequences.

On the next song “Tide,” with a feature from Andreya Triana, no more is the incorporation of choral measures heard in this low-fidelity type of song, using his voice as a stepping stone into the latter segments with Triana’s. Comparing the two, Triana has a much larger vocal range, able to hit higher notes than Green. But Green brings the piece back down to earth, helping cement that same dynamic.

However, Green’s most telling vocal performance is heard in the song “Sunlight,” utilizing various filters to mechanize his voice. As the song progresses, more instruments are added, all reinforcing the chord progression established. As the song comes to a climax, crisp drums with a computer whir are heard, starkly contrasting his lyrics of wanting to be basked in the sunlight, and viewing this with his eyes.

After “Sunlight,” Green’s most beautiful and rhythmic section is presented on the track “Yoyuu”. Featuring angelic violins, cellos, and chimes, the song transitions perfectly from the previous one and helps establish the next instrumental heavy song, “Realign.”

Being the headliner single released for the album, “Realign” sought to incorporate every element established so far. Green’s voice, dry drums, aquatic sounding chimes, and even the violins from the track “Yoyuu” are heard. But sadly, this song has a hard time building up to something other than an incomplete prototype.

This is where Green’s Achilles heel is seen, being his minimalist-sounding production. When not supported by his voice or memorable melodic lines, some songs on this album come off as a rough draft, rather than a finished product.

But, melodic ideas are well implemented in the second to last track “Between Us”. Using a nice mix of guitars, the track eventually climaxes with an almost tribal-sounding percussive line. By the end of the song, vocal chops successfully carry the melody to its eventual rest, fading out with the track’s signature drum line. These do a very good job of blending just the right amount of vocal parts with the tasteful instrumentation utilized.

The last track, “More,” starts off rather promisingly, with Green’s philosophical lyrics reciprocating feelings of missing a part of himself. But immediately after, some of the strangest and most underwhelming backing vocals make themselves apparent. Mixing a somewhat gospel vocal line with Green’s high and low pitched voice, this vocal sequence continues through the entire piece and eventually becomes a pain to listen to. Despite this, the creative lyricism of the normal melody is able to bleed through just that little bit.

Despite its various musical setbacks, there is no denying that Green has taken a tasteful and harmonious approach to this latest album. Overall, it is well thought out, but when Green doesn’t have the chops to support the minimalist production, some songs fall flat. Even so, it’s still a worthy listen. Songs are perfect in establishing a relaxed mood, and Green’s voice stands solely as a highlight through the album.

Giving this an 80% on the moosic meter: