What do you do when your accomplishments don’t satisfy you? This is what Henry McIntyre has set out to discover. Although he is only 18, McIntyre has already accomplished more than many peers years older than him. Beginning his career at the age of 9, McIntyre played lead guitar in the rock band, Black Diamonds. Throughout his teens the band played venues across New England and Canada. In the band’s 8 year existence, they released two EPs and even earned the Guiness World Record for the World’s Youngest Professional Rock Band. However, this wasn’t enough for McIntyre.
After the dissolution of Black Diamonds, McIntyre emerged from the side of the stage and launched his solo career. He decided to focus on artistry and emotion over achievement. McIntyre learned on the fly, and recorded a new batch of songs inspired by the likes of Elliott Smith and Nick Drake. He played all the instruments and handled all the of the production. Because of this his debut album, Highly Influenced, has a homegrown and intimate sound. The melancholy energy is centered around McIntyre’s double tracked vocals and melodic guitar work. Lyrically, the album explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood and everything that comes with it.
For his next move, McIntyre decided to expand his scope. McIntyre began creating in a manner similar to that of his debut: recording and producing on his own. However, in contrast to the intimate sound of Highly Influenced, McIntyre decided not to limit himself to any preconceived notions or rules. Inspired by the lofi bliss of bands such as Pavement and Neutral Milk Hotel, McIntyre set out to bring his sound to new heights. The result is Box on the Ear, a sprawling and eclectic set of songs. McIntyre put an increased emphasis on harmonies, textures, and instrumentation, creating a fuller, bigger sound. McIntyre also decided to change his approach lyrically. Instead of offering personal and confessional lyrics, he wrote about an existential crisis brought on by the world around him and combined it with stream of consciousness musings on human nature and his place in the world. The album was preceded by the single, “Elegy” which showcased McIntyre’s alternative folk sound with the addition of harmonies and a choral breakdown. Songs such as ‘Somewhere’, create beautiful colors, painted through rich harmony from accompanying vocalist Abbey Basile from the band Playing with Fire. Basile and McIntyre collaborate several times on ‘Box on the Ear’ creating explosive bursts of auditory sensation. Box on the Ear is out now!
Henry McIntyre continues to grow and change as an artist but he remains driven by his love of music and his desire to create something authentic. He strives to evolve while retaining his sense of self. McIntyre says that although he evolves, he wants to retain the sense that his music was created by a kid with a guitar and an immense passion for music. McIntyre believes that David Bowie summed up his mindset best when he said, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”