Is This Tomorrow


henrysThe Toronto-based and “nearly instrumental” Henrys, founded in 1990 by last original member Don Rooke (reunited here on four tracks with bassist Paul Pasmore of the original duo), previously dabbled in mostly wordless vocals by elusive chanteuse Mary Margaret O’Hara.

But with “Tomorrow” — their fifth release and first in seven years — they’ve almost morphed into a nearly vocal group: A third of the cuts feature full-fledged singing, not just by O’Hara (“Cast a Net” and “Wishful Protection”) but also by Dragonette‘s Martina Sorbara (“Chair by the Window”) and Bjorkestra’s Becca Stevens (“Northland Holiday,” “Swan Song” and “Train to Funeral,” the latter containing the disc’s lone, old-school wordless vocal). Elsewhere, the three contribute “voices” and “air.”

But Rooke’s tone-heavy yet laid-back slide work remains the core of the Henrys’ sound. Among guitars used this go-round are dobro, lap steel, National steel, Hawaiian King, sintir (a camel-skinned, three-stringed African lute) and trademark kona. Augmenting the guitar-bass-drums lineup at various times are organ, pump organ, violin, steel drums, Casio and brass.

Listen to it any way imaginable: in running order; with vocal numbers programmed out; with instrumentals programmed out; or at random. No matter how it’s sliced, it’s ear candy. Adventurers will appreciate the ambient bonus DVD containing 17 “deleted sceneries, alt-takes and sonic delinquents” that play underneath a slideshow of surreal photos taken by Rooke in Canada, Italy, Chicago and Miami, plus three audio “scraps from the cutting room floor.”gnm_end_bug

1. Give Him An Innocent
2. Northland Holiday
3. Cast A Net
4. Kingdom Of Piedmont
5. That Myoclonic Jerk
6. Swan Song
7. Thorncliffe Gene
8. Chair By The Window
9. Wading In The Dark
10. The Cost Of Living
11. Train To Funeral
12. Nite Skule
13. Him And Carol
14. Left At The Holly Row
15. Wishful Protection

Total time: 49:43

External links
artist’s website
CD Roots