If you’re looking for musical inspiration that will walk you through an inner-self journey, look no further. Local one man phunk band Henry + The Invisibles’ new album–MUSAIC–is set to release this Saturday (Sept. 17).
Henry + The Invisibles is an Austin based band that has the effect of a five-piece funk ensemble but is really just one man, Henry Roland. Henry started this endeavor after playing with numerous bands in Austin and New York. He realized that he not only didn’t want to deal with bass players not showing up to gigs and unreliable third parties, but he didn’t need to. H+TI made its debut with the EP Onemanphunkband in 2010.
Each song that Henry + The Invisibles releases takes a step further from sounding like the one man loop track that people take it for, and a giant leap towards the sound of a stand alone band. Now, we are ready to finally experience the first full-length album from him. In an interview with Austin360, Henry said that he feels the concept of healing would be prominent theme throughout MUSAIC.
On Vinyl had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the new, highly-anticipated album. So lets dive in, shall we?
“Whoa,” the second track on the album, is a quintessential example of the groove we are used to getting from Henry. This song has all the parts: tantalizing vocals, a great sax solo, piano and even a little bit of rap. It was pre-released for your listening pleasure here.
Vocals, bass and drums are the stars in the next couple tunes. “If You Were, I Would” is a love ballad that hangs on the edge of the back beat. “You Made It” has that same feel but this time the lyrics are all about personal freedom and living life for yourself. Talk about soul, Henry adds flute and scatting into the mix, and man does it work.
Skip forward after a couple of higher tempo jams about living for yourself and your future, and the album makes a turn into the home stretch. We now get a live version of his song “Inspire.” Hearing the crowd kind of gave my ears a breather from the studio sound and brought great energy to the middle of the album. This song has a lot of diversity between the voice that H+TI uses for the verses, chorus and bridge, and the lyrics are all about that person in your life that brings you inspiration.
A track later, “Equinox” freakin’ steals the show. Twinkling synth supports a beautiful vocal line with some seriously meaningful lyrics about changing this world we live in and finding some peace. Favorite line: “How many pages must we really have to turn before the same lesson is finally learned?” Okay Henry, now you are speaking to my soul.
“Long Way Home” follows “Equinox” and doesn’t disappoint by any means. This song really sounds like five guys jamming; I don’t know how he does it. Add on to that the lyrics about this crazy journey we call life and the picture of “healing music” is definitely starting to come to fruition.
“Fly On” is a little bit about loss and a whole lot about relationships. The most beautiful thing is that H+TI can encompass these deep rooted lyrics inside of complex and intriguing rhythms and harmonies. That shines clearly through in this song.
In the end, a solid album by one man on his own. Henry did the musical job of ten men, and he has opened a new window for everyone living this crazy life to go to for some healing and balance.
If you can’t get enough funk, join OV and Henry as we celebrate his newest release this weekend at Empire Control Room & Garage with a party that will be one for the books.