Review: Martin John Henry – The Other Half Of Everything

According to The First Light, ‘Here’s the truth so listen up, we all died when we grew up’. Let’s not be fooled by the beautiful melodies of this album. Behind the elegant music lie nostalgic, dark atmospheres within the layers of experimental noises. This record is a clear description of Martin John Henry’s song writing maturity since the days of De Rosa.

It contains everything we would expect and more. With Radiohead-like drum beats scattered throughout and electronic noises whispering behind the Scottish vocals and influenced guitar, Martin John Henry stays true to his original De Rosa sound but this time, with oomph.

The album introduces itself with a soft melodic first track before moving into an upbeat Span which you can’t help but feel and move to the rhythm. There is an indie pop element to this track and with some funky guitar hidden in the background it’s a song any Errors fan would fully appreciate. It also sets the precedent for the rest of the record.

The single Ribbon on a Bough is another very upbeat number and unsurprisingly stands out as the most commercial track on the record. That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad. This is packed full of obscure sounds and instruments under bouncy tunes that when the chorus of layered vocals kicks in, any listener will find themselves joining. Without a doubt, this track is one to hear live.

The rest of the album appears much darker with pessimistic lyrics such as ‘I’m used to regrets, I’m used to feeling upset’. These lyrics are found on the mellow Seventh Song which is built on soft fingerpicked guitar and harmonising strings on top. It is one of many mellow and dark songs on the album.

This release is certainly unique and seems to fit into its own genre. It has something for everyone and contains obscure sounds and beautiful melodies. If a modern art gallery had sounds, this album would be it.

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