Henry Mansfield is an artist I’ve been familiar with over the years. He is back with a double single entitled Jury Duty + Young / Lovely. He mentions, “In 2018, I became really interested in writing about the experience of myself and my friends-- getting older, graduating from college, and how you begin to understand that the world is completely unorganized.”
I was interested to hear this because this is actually a point I’m well past in my own life. College was about twenty years ago but I remember those types of feelings surfacing especially when you are young and stepping into adulthood.
The first song is entitled “Jury Duty” and I was definitely feeling some Ben Folds vibes. Speaking of college, that was one of my favorite bands at the time. The song is well constructed and powerful in a number of ways. It's very dynamic going from intimate moments of piano with vocals to explosive crescendos. The lyrics are very well done. I found the lyrics to be original and thought-provoking. There are a lot of lines that are ambiguous and interpretative. Mansfields sings, “There is beauty in our bodies / More than fumbling locks and keys / Hold my hand and say it with me / I am not my insecurity / There’s one thing keeping your clothes on / And it’s not me.” The instrumental aspects are fantastic both from a technical and a creative perspective enjoyed what I was hearing.
Up next is “Young/Lovely” which might even be better. The song has an upward momentum and the horns are a bigger factor here. There is some fabulous playing all around and some serious rocking and even some distortion.The song quickly takes off and is full blast until around the four-minute mark. There is a breakdown and female harmonies are introduced. I was getting a Sufjan Stevens vibe at first but in the spirit of his album Chicago. The song gets really intense towards the end with the Dropkick Murphys type of crowd chanting.
I think things can feel unorganized especially when you are a young adult. If you dig a little deeper you will realize that this stems from chaos, uncertainty and a sense of not having control. That’s literally what the outside world is. The reality is you will never be able to organize or control the chaos of the outside world but what you can try and do is organize your own garden. The last lyrics of this release are “If we can’t be young and lovely / We will just be young.” That’s good advice. It’s a bit of cliche to say we lose some of the wonder we had as a kid. It’s not that the wonder has escaped from the world but we become more afraid to explore like we once did. If you organize your mind, body and spirit then you will be able to confront the future with exploration instead of uncertainty and that will provide a foundation which you can walk on.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook