Shift has a pleasing sparsity to it that puts you in mind of Scandinavian minimalism. Elegant and balmy, Henry Green’s debut album has the feel of a tastefully held together room, one that you’ll yearn to return to.
Leave tropical house to simmer for long enough and you’ll arrive at the sound of Henry Green. Rarely breaking into sustained groove, chorus or even melody, Shift is nuanced confessional pop. What prevents the album feeling random or mechanical is Green’s wonderfully nuanced vocal presence. Barely speaking above a whisper, Green’s style is part croon, part ASMR. The annunciation is precise but not sharp, and there is a soothing quality to his soft tones. Shift is like being serenaded in a library.
The result is a hushed, intimate narration of the day-to-day. ‘Another Life’ strays closest to Kygo’s tropical wheelhouse, a gorgeously understated nocturnal mood setter. Elsewhere things are more elaborate, Green’s plaintive vocal soul fluttering beneath a damask of humming electronics.
Penultimate instrumental ‘Diversion’ recalls the lap of waves on Eastern shores, last heard on Gold Panda’s Lucky Shiner. Shift is hushed, every element of production swaddled in dampening – beats fogged up, drum machines distant and softened. Whist this saps any urgency, Shift is not intended as soundtrack for PT session.
Soft and soapy as fresh air, Shift is a detox to overkill. A work of intricacy and beautiful elan.
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