Review: Henry Nowhere – ‘No Place To Be’ (EP)

Henry Nowhere’s No Place To Be begins as an easy, breezy surf rock gem. Play it at a summer party and everyone will nod their heads in agreement - this is good stuff.
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Henry Nowhere – No Place To Be (SoundCloud)

Written by Daniel Belgrad (Vern Matz)

Henry Nowhere’s No Place To Be begins as an easy, breezy surf rock gem. Like Real Estate, the music is deeply inoffensive in the best way. Play it at a summer party and everyone will nod their heads in agreement – this is good stuff.

If bedroom pop was a country club, Henry Nowhere’s music would be a BLT. It’s familiar but unique, utilizing classics in a way that is decidedly its own.

No Place To Be does not announce itself as sad and pensive, opting to use washed out paint strokes to obscure some pretty depressing lyricism. Depth and emotion that doesn’t directly call attention to itself is a relatively new trend, and it’s a big reason that Nowhere and his compatriots in the bedroom pop era have broken off from the indie music of the 00’s.

Nowhere’s collection of songs is wide, dense, and raspy. Doubled vocals, jangly electric guitars pushed to one ear, vocals used as pads, and classic acoustics line the EP’s colorful pages. In the sonic bloom, I initially missed some of the EP’s profundity. The last two tracks perform nicely foregrounding some hard hitting lyrics. 

I want to highlight some of the EP’s best moments. It’s hard to say exactly what makes these moments so special, and so, I’ll only provide some speculation.

2:20 in Slippin’ – these drums and this rhythmic moment together with the eerie vocal haze are supa cool

1:03 in Wasn’t For Your Love “I wasn’t lonely when I was alone // Cause you don’t miss what you don’t know”. My favorite lyrical moment.

Choruses of Say You’re Okay – magical

If I were dating this EP, I’d feel a bit confused. On the first few dates, I had a great time, and it was all light and easy. But the more we got to know each other, the more I realized there was real depth and density in our relationship. I think it’s beautiful that No Place To Be does both, and specifically in chronological succession. After all, it’s nice to have a good time before you launch into the heavy stuff.

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Kevin Flick
Kevin Flick

Kevin Flick founded Puddlegum in 1997 and has been engaging in music journalism off and on since. He's also a recording/mixing engineer and loves to help bands work through the creative process. He has coproduced and mixed for artists such as Saeyers, Midi Memory, and Cathedral Bells.

Rumors are that he's a Brighton Hove & Albion FC fan. He's also obsessed with coffee. Kevin resides in the college community of Bloomington, Indiana, where he studied at Indiana University.

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