Henry True - Mass to Gloria Hills

Released October 20th, 2018, Henry True makes his first solo venture. While this is a solo release, True still collaborates with drummer and music man Spencer Tweedy as a duo for this album's ten tracks.

"Mass to Gloria Hills" opens with the song "Up the Tracks", a fun acoustic song (like all the tracks on this album) with Spencer Tweedy on drums and bass. One exceptional thing about this album you hear right off the bat is the quality producing, mixing, and engineering by True & Tweedy. The album itself was recorded over the course of two weekends in Wisconsin, but the writing process was done over the past two years while True left college in Massachusetts and moved to work in a area of Wisconsin Mosher calls "Gloria Hills", hence the tittle of this record.

Next is "Room for Two", a song that reflects some of the subject matter True writes about, which appears to be personal involvements, and experiences he sees. "Carol" is the third track which is one of the most delightful tracks on the album with poppy guitar, vocals, bass, drums, and saxophone, played by Sebastian Roman.

To follow are "Toxic" and "Sound Advice", the first of the two seems to be one of the most personal tracks on "Mass to Gloria Hills", True's lyrics shine brightly here. "Sound Advice" draws sounds from his last release with his band The Blisters, "Cured" Listening though "Cured", the songs on "Mass to Gloria Hills" make more sense to the listener and seem not only to be appropriate songs but perfected compositions. 

Interviewing True, he explained to me his writing process of writing two or three songs a week and sorting through which tracks he would keep for this album, the process went more in depth when he borrowed a four-track cassette recorder from a friend and demoed the songs for "Mass to Gloria Hills"

"Can't Stop Running Away" is the next track, which True said was one of the hardest tracks to piece together for this release. "Love Panic" follows with wonderful acoustic guitar and crooning vocals, again a personal track. "Secrets" is next with flute by Ali Shuger, fitting well with the other tracks on this album. I can't decide on what theme is here on "Mass to Gloria Hills" but there is surely reoccurring motifs seen on songs like "Secrets"

The album ends on "The Answer" and "In the Storm", two tracks that go splendidly together to end this sound scape of a release. "The Answer" has a build in sound throughout the track and the final track "In the Storm" quiets down in a jazzy way to end the album.

You start "Up the Tracks" and end up "In the Storm", a journey maybe like the one True took from "Mass to Gloria Hills" For a Chicago Native who has played around the country, it amazes me that Henry True has yet to be picked up by a music label. Without his backing band, True is left to show his strengths as a songwriter. And with "Mass to Gloria Hills" he succeeds in many ways.

- Ryne's Reviews