Sean Henry – “The Crow” Video (Stereogum Premiere)

I like when you can hear the seams of how a song came together — the stitches where absent-minded strumming turned into the hypnotic instrumental hook at the center of “The Crow,” or the branches of the instinctual decision tree that led Sean Henry to layer the vocals in a certain way or set the drums up to stutter along at such a speed. You can hear all these vestiges of creation when listening to this song, but that doesn’t mean the pathway to get there was predictable or easy. As a member of like-minded deconstructions High Pop or under his old solo name Boy Crush, Henry makes music that stabs at the heart while retaining a poised sense of form and structure. He lifts up the dusty floorboards of his memory and stares down at the rotting wood underneath. On “The Crow,” he makes you feel the inky jet black of the titular bird, looming overhead with a shadow that swallows up the sun. The disaffected “oh no” that punctuates the song sounds like inevitability and resignation. His new record, It’s All About Me — the first under his own name — is a trudge back through time, step by painful step, as Henry attempts to piece together why he everything ended up feeling so bleak. Check the song out below, along with a video directed by Ryan Schnackenberg.

It’s All About Me is out 7/17 via Double Double Whammy.