By: Cari Zahn – A&E Editor
Take your average folk singer, give him an interesting rhythm, classical contemporary harmonies and an overarching pop vibe and you’ve got Henry Jamison.
Hailing from Burlington, Vermont, Jamison ventured into a solo career last August that has since taken off, earning his songs over 13 million streams on Spotify. Jamison is touring with Tall Heights this spring, performing songs from his new EP “The Rains.”
While music has been a part of Jamison’s life since a young age, he hasn’t always been a solo artist. Jamison recalled his musical endeavors starting around age 14 when he first picked up a guitar, and lasting well through college and after as he thrived in the touring band life. However, he was always musically inclined, recording the first songs onto “Henry’s Tape,” five-year-old Jamison’s masterpiece of work including featuring a riveting pots-and-pans track.
“The songs were pretty improvised,” Jamison laughed. “But a few of them were genuinely pretty touching, about Santa Claus coming or standing out the window while other kids play outside.”
Aside from these childhood endeavors, Jamison’s recent success with music is in part due to his ability to create lyrically enticing songs. Jamison admires the songwriting process of artists such as Sufjan Stevens, that often have a specific project going for their writing inspired by some sort of muse.
“I’ve never been quite so containing,” Jamison said. “It’s really just sort of sitting down, playing guitar and figuring out some chords I like. I’ll sing a little bit, and the lyrics will start slowly surfacing from a sea of gibberish. A lot of them are about girls.”
In a similar way, Jamison doesn’t have distinct musical inspirations that he can peg as having influenced his work. While he cited bulgarian folk music as a genre that leaves him in awe as far as rhythm goes, the “Mysterious Voices of Bulgaria” CD that he keeps in his car isn’t exactly responsible for his sound. Jamison also mentioned Paul Brady, an irish singer-songwriter, and the deep cuts of James Blake as some of his favorite music.