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Photo by Will Von Bolton

It’s been more than four years, but Henry the Archer is back with new music. Recorded with Casey Diiorio in Dallas at Valve Studios (Snoop Dogg, Slayer, The Polyphonic Spree), The Garden will be out April 13, and, unlike previous releases, it will feature a little bit of everything sonically.

“Every single song on the six-track album is completely different,” said frontman Henry O’. “You’ve got ska, jazz, punk, heavy rock — it all runs the gamut. … If you look at a garden, it’s a diverse group of plants and flowers all together. It’s all these beautiful things living in harmony, and it’s a lot like the album.”

The songs are also diverse instrumentally. Piano, ukulele, and a “redubbed” guitar all factor in among the band’s traditional arrangement of guitar (Henry O’), bass (Eliot Arriaza), and drums (Kevin Geist). Henry O’ feels The Garden is the best music he’s ever released and is super-excited to get it out.

(From left to right) bassist Eliot Arriaza, frontman Henry O’, and drummer Kevin Geist have been waiting a long time for The Garden to bloom.
Photo by Will Von Bolton
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Everything took as long as it did due to work schedules, travel, and financing, he said. Henry O’ and company wrote the songs before the pandemic and recorded them during the lockdown. The Garden was finished this year and mastered in New York City by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (Pete Townshend, Fleetwood Mac, Ben Folds Five). The album is still Henry the Archer-esque, just “matured,” Henry O’ said.

“Anything I’ve recorded in the past has been in my studio and smaller studios, but this is the first album we’ve recorded at a major studio,” he said. “To have someone like Casey behind the mixing board, who is able to pick up certain elements and make them sound more special, was really key to this release. The few people that have heard it said, ‘It’s never sounded like this before.’ ”

The tracks are a mix of personal and imaginary. Henry O’ said “The Garden,” “ViolinT,” and “Someone Beautiful” were inspired by the person who “owns” his “heart.”

Art by Sarah Cook

The release party/show will be in Arlington at Division Brewing, where CDs will be for sale along with preorders for vinyl copies. The band would also like to tour soon. Wherever they are, Henry O’ feels he’s on the right path.

“I believe I was meant to make music, and during the course of my life, I’ve had people connect with me,” he said. “One day, I’m going to die, but what I’ve left behind is a creative artistic expression that will outlive my life, and it will continue to inspire other people to write music and inspire other people to get through tough situations. It doesn’t have anything to do with being famous. It has to do with this internal drive to share something that I feel deeply about, and if that touches another person, then that’s amazing, and if it touches another person 20 years after I’m dead, that’s amazing, too.”

Henry the Archer
Sat, May 11, w/Cut Throat Finches, Sean Russell at Division Brewing, 502 E Main St, Arlington. $13-15. 682-259-7011.
Henry O’: “One day, I’m going to die, but what I’ve left behind is a creative artistic expression that will outlive my life.”
Photo by Will Von Bolton

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