“Iconoclastic and openly emotional, Henry Mansfield is the real deal.”
From his Seattle origins to his Los Angeles hopes, Henry Mansfield brings a songwriter's introspection to the indie rock genre. In between the technical piano and blasting drums, Mansfield pulls together the feelings of various lost souls and shows us how alone we really aren’t. The lyrics hit the sweet spot right between your heart and your head, and the melodies will leave his pertinent questions lingering in your head long after you’ve stopped dancing. With musical invention to spare, his dramatic and innovative arrangements are easy to listen to, but rewarding upon revisiting. As a live performer, Mansfield focuses intensely on crowd interaction and involvement, believing the stories of the audience are just important as his. You’ll get out exactly what you put in at his shows and with his records, and hopefully you’ll learn something about yourself along the way.
After winning a local Battle of the Bands at the age of 13, Mansfield set his sights high. He continued performing around the Seattle area, receiving a nomination for Solo Artist of the Year and getting put on KEXP’s “Best Album of 2016” ballot. In 2017, he was a featured performer at The Bite of Seattle, and in 2018, went international at the Snowking’s Winter Festival in Yellowknife, Canada.
In fact, Mansfield’s latest project stems from his travel in the Norwegian and Canadian Arctic amidst the loss of a long-term relationship. Titled it’s a melancholic but hopeful story of redemption and optimism. Songs from the record include, “Midnight Kids,” an ode to late-night car therapy sessions; “Boys and Their Balloons,” a true story of an overconfident Swedish balloonist, and “Object Lesson,” Mansfield’s first composition for player piano.
Upon first listen, Mansfield’s influences clearly include Ben Folds, The Dresden Dolls, and other piano-based rock bands of yore. However, upon a more detailed inspection, other influences such as John K. Samson, Ben Gibbard, Frank Turner and Dan Deacon begin to reveal themselves. Mansfield’s love of the piano came early, his mother introducing him to Elton John and Billy Joel at age 10. However, his interest did not stay limited to the instrument, and by adolescence he surrounded himself with various eclectic influences. Ever since then, his musical identity is constantly dipping and moving, but his consistent love of literary songwriting and inventive musicality rear their head quite often. Mansfield places a special emphasis on his lyrics, often writing about obscure ideas and characters as a means of emphasizing human similarity through shared neurosis.