Henry Jamison Delves Into 'Culture and Manhood' on 'Gloria Duplex': Album Premiere

Shervin Lainez 
Henry Jamison

It may be a man's man's man's world according to James Brown, but Henry Jamison has his own view of that on his new album, Gloria Duplex, out Feb. 8 and premiering exclusively below.

The Vermont singer-songwriter shoots broad on the 12-song set, which he tells Billboard was intended to be "a reckoning with my own childhood and the culture and manhood." It was inspired by a great deal of reading, including the writings of Joseph Campbell, psychologist James Hillman and Robert Bly's Iron John: A Book About Men, as well as a day job during a brief musical hiatus as a recess monitor and after-school counselor at a public school near Burlington, VT.

"I was playing a lot of touch football and just observing third to sixth graders," Jamison says. "I recognized both the joy and creativity of the boys but also this sort of what seemed latent rage that was trying to come out -- maybe not rage but an energy that felt to me like it was being misdirected by the culture. The only way this particular group of boys knew how to express themselves was through sports...this very strong, war-like competitiveness."

Those inputs, Jamison adds, "got me into thinking about archetypes and myths, and about how the culture is failing us in our childhood and we have to forge new identities as we get older. That started to leak into my songwriting and turn into stories and then turned into the album."

The title Gloria Duplex is a Latin term used by Hillman that means "seeing both sides," and Jamison says integrating these big concepts into the album's songs "came pretty easily. I can't force a song to happen, but when these first songs came out I kind of looked at them and realized there were these themes happening. Then I became a lot more intentional about it."

Sonically, Gloria Duplex is poetic as Jamison's previous releases -- The Wilds and the EP The Rains, both from 2017 -- but with a more muscular impact, even on its quieter numbers, and more pronounced dynamics. He credits that to producer Thomas Bartlett and his New York studio. "I would play my stuff and he would build the track up and we'd discuss it, then we'd go back and do some more things," recalls Jamison, who's currently touring with Guster and has headlining dates in Europe on the horizon. "It was really like handing a lot of the sonic elements over to him that was really exciting to me. I turned out better than it would have if I had done it all myself. It feels like this record is a testament to this collaboration that happened."

But Jamison is a bit circumspect as to whether that's the way he'd like to record again.

"I learned a lot, so I think I have a better sense of what I could do better next time," he says. "I'm completely happy with this record and it's a very big moment in my life. But I would be worried if I weren't looking ahead to the next thing. I'm already thinking about how to do things -- not even necessarily better but find out what happens with what you do after that."

Tour Dates
Supporting Guster 
Feb 07 - Denver, CO - The Ogden Theatre
Feb 09 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Feb 11 - Missoula, MT - Top Hat Lounge
Feb 12 - Spokane, WA - Bing Crosby Theater 
Feb 14 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom 
Feb 15 - Vancouver, CA - Imperial 
Feb 16 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Sodo 

Headline Tour
Mar 05 - London, UK - Omeara 
Mar 09 - Berlin, DE - Privatclub 
Mar 10 - Hamburg, DE - Nochtwache
Mar 12 - Amsterdam, NL - Pardiso 
Mar 13 - Cologne, DE - Wohngemeinschaft
Mar 14 - Stuttgart, DE - White Noise 
Mar 16 - Zurich, CH - M for Music Festival 
Apr 30 - Los Angeles, CA - Moroccan Lounge
May 01 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop 
May 03 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
May 04 - Vancouver, BC - Fox Cabaret
May 05 - Seattle, WA - Barboza 
May 07 - Missoula, MT - Top Hat 
May 09 - Denver, CO - Globe Hall
May 11 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club 
May 12 - Chicago, IL - Schubas 
May 13 - Nashville, TN - The Basement 
May 14 - Atlanta, GA - Eddie's Attic 
May 16 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
May 17 - Washington, DC - DC 9
May 18 - Ithaca, NY - The Haunt
May 21 - Toronto, CA - Drake Hotel 
May 22 - Montreal, CA - Mini Campus
May 24 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
May 27 - Lenox, MA - Welcome Campers Festival
May 28 - Portland, ME - One Longfellow Square
May 30 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade 
May 31 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Jun 01 - Boston, MA - Cafe 939


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