Formerly known as Boy Crush, Sean Henry has decided to continue his solo career, but this time, under his own name. The Brooklyn-based High Pop singer will be releasing a full length album, It’s All About Me, to celebrate this transition. As previously heard in “The Crow,” Henry deconstructs minimal lyrics and weaves them through layered vocals. His newest single, “Sad ‘C,'” follows a similar path. The song begins with a long pause and a deep breath before breaking into cheerful whistling. Contrasted to the sparkling, upbeat instrumentals, the lyrics express an air of monotony: “Waiting, I guess it’s just the same thing so I’ll count my fingers once again. What’s the day today?” Although these few essential words are stretched and distorted, a passionate expression of anxiety and apathy still shines through.
It’s All About Me is out 7/17 via Double Double Whammy. We spoke to Henry about jumping into the deep end, the new record, and living at the Silent Barn.
What led to the decision to retire the Boy Crush moniker and perform as yourself?
It was sort of a rebirth and a fresh start. Creatively, it’s reviving to experiment with identity. The self title is a growing process. I feel as if I’ve hit some new landmarks in my life. Boy Crush was an act, drenched in irony and humor. The music reflected that. This new album is a different sound. It’s still the same person but it’s more genuine. I was always too scared to make the jump myself, but with the guidance and push of mentors and friends, I’m ready for a new era.
What are the ideas behind “Sad ‘C’”?
It starts with an awkward silence like a deep breath. And then it’s a whole year of melancholy and tension, which I felt building up inside of me and the people close to me. It was all released into this song on the one day that it was written and recorded. For the album and the listener, it also serves as a peak and final culmination. And then, hopefully, there’s a calm.
And I would only name the songs letters at first and then I applied my own meanings to those letters throughout the process, thus, ‘sad c.’
Can you talk a little bit about the creation of It’s All About Me?
It was made in about three months about a year ago. I lived on a farm outside of the city and I was unemployed. I recorded and wrote each day whatever I felt. Whatever happened, happened, and I would try to clean things up a little in the mixing process so it has a sort of mixtape feel.
It was a simple and productive time in my life, where I ate too many chicken wings and one of my biggest immediate problems was my downstairs neighbor, a religious older woman, complaining about loud drums. The album takes on a story form with its longer length. It’s mostly a story about me.
Has living in the Silent Barn altered your music-making process in any way?
The Silent Barn is the complete opposite to my life on a farm. The best thing about the Silent Barn and the city is the inspiration. Almost every day that I’m not working at my cafe job, I’ll see the show downstairs. I feel like I’ve seen almost every band in Brooklyn. I’ve met so many wonderful and amazing people who do insanely great things. I found a community in the city, which was always my dream. But there’s a lot going on at the Barn and I create best when I’m very alone so I haven’t been able to get it all down into something. Once I leave though, I’ll have plenty to make.