WORDS BY KIERAN COYNE '16
Yesterday, Henry Hall ‘14 released his first solo EP. For fans of Grand Cousin, this self-titled debut presents the long-awaited opportunity to hear what Henry sounds like - and what he chooses to sing about - when he’s all by himself. Grand Cousin fans will know that Henry takes on this kind of neurotic character when he sings, this guy who’s always suffering from some combination of worry, self-criticism, and obsession. That character, so loveable for talking about the embarrassing parts of himself that the rest of us like to hide, lives on here. And, while it’s up for debate how much of that character is created and how much of it is really just Henry himself, he has certainly grown alongside the now postgraduate, real-world-living Henry we know. In fact, he offers more of that strangely located, unexpected lyrical wisdom now than ever before. In the EP’s opener and definite highlight, “Fake Words,” he says, “oh my mom doesn’t know about me / that’s because I don’t tell her a goddamn thing,” figuratively slapping himself on the head for only now realizing, ‘oh yeah, I probably have been a little distant.’ Henry learns these little things about himself, and without dressing them up at all, puts them into these songs that we find ourselves relating to in a way that’s almost scary. And, of course, it isn’t just the lyrics themselves, but the palpably frustrated, innocent, and vulnerable delivery of those feelings that’ll have you suddenly second-guessing in your own issues, relationships, etc. Yet, while Henry might induce a little personal questioning, he also reassures you that for now, it’s all O.K., because we’re still learning, right? And oh yeah, musically, the kid is absolutely on fire.