Premiere: Henry Jamison’s ‘The Last Time I Saw Adrianne’ Is Stunning Folk Simplicity

Editorial Director, Music

People often note that poetry is literally in Henry Jamison’s blood. He’s a direct descendant of 14th century poet John Gower and George Frederick Root, the most popular songwriter of the Civil War era. But Jamison’s music has none of the solemnity of Chaucer, nor the bleeding patriotism of American war propaganda.

Instead, Jamison turns inward, narrating inner monologues, desires, and imperfections with a near-stunning specificity, and a simpleness that’s difficult for many writers to master. His singular folk-rock stands out in a crowded, often-maligned field because of his deft lyricism and experimental, twisted melodies that veer toward electronic and pop as much as they do bluegrass. A native New Englander — he’d almost have to be, given that pedigree — Jamison released his debut EP, The Rains last October, and racked up recognition from places like NPR and Impose in the meantime.

His forthcoming debut album, The Wilds, will be out later this fall, on 10/27 via Akira Records, and he’s been steadily releasing songs off the record to help get the word out. He’s already put out the title track, “The Jacket,” “Sunlit Juice,” “Real Peach” (which was also on his EP). But today, we’re premiering a track that Jamison wrote called “The Last Time I Saw Adrianne,” which, perhaps unsurprisingly, was inspired by Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief, who released their own excellent album Capacity earlier this year.

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