“Call all the words out of me.” (‘All’)
The first lyric written for Henry Green’s second studio album was a plea, scrawled in semi-desperation while wracked with acute writer’s block. Today the line has taken on a far sweeter significance, immortalising the precise moment that Green’s muse was reawakened, paving the way for Half Light, his most ambitious artistic statement yet.
Having left Bristol in early 2019 to settle down in a sleepy Wiltshire village, the electronic artist and producer wrote and recorded the album in his attic studio in six months. Reflecting on the experience today, the 24-year-old cites the decision to take on all production duties himself as just one of many causes of stress. “I've always produced my own stuff to some extent, but I took it too far the other way. And when you spend so much time on your own and have these two conflicting sides in your head, it's just a constant battle. And then you have these sobering moments when you realise that people are actually listening to your music...”
In some respects, Green was justified in being intimidated by the weight of expectation. Following the successes of his EPs Slow (2015) and Real (2017), and his debut album Shift (2018), he’s racked up 71 million streams on Spotify and more than 18 million on Apple Music, and has won the respect of his peers, including former tour-mates London Grammar and Nick Mulvey, and recent remixers Cyril Hahn and Harvey Causon. And yet, their faith is ultimately repaid with Half Light, a record that finds Green harnessing that initial crisis of confidence to create music that’s both emotionally honest and breaks new ground.