When the New York Post declared in July 2014 that “Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ son wants to be a rock star,” its writers were probably not expecting the mellow, lilting track that Henry Hall released last month. “Love for Serious” sets wistful lyrics of devotion against light, folksy guitar strums, crescendoing into delicately harmonized falsetto during each rendition of the chorus. Hall’s method of crooning simplistic, almost childish lyrics that melt seamlessly into the chorus (which consists almost solely of the track’s title) gives the track a distinct sense of flow that echoes its lyrics’ preoccupation with water. The brief second verse proclaims, “I love going swimming, I love going swimming / Swimming makes me feel good / and then I feel better, then I feel better / ‘cause I’ve gotten wetter,” and its last word tumbles into an extended iteration of the word “love,” followed by “for serious” – and thus we’ve arrived at the chorus, which begins much in the same way that the retraction of an ocean’s wave leads inevitably to the next wave.
Hall, whose self-titled band appeared at the Mercury Lounge in November of 2016, seems to be heading down a much more placid route than he did with his sophomore EP from earlier that year, My Friends Don’t Like Me, one of whose upbeat tracks, “Comfort Zone,” appeared on Season 1 of the Netflix series Love. This year, it would appear that the dance-y nostalgia of “My Friends Don’t Like Me” has given way to a breezier, softer sound that has less bite and more flow than Hall’s previous work – even his first EP, Henry Hall, featured tracks that were slow but with significantly more edge and gloom than “Love for Serious.”
Only time will tell whether it’s a brief deviation or whether Hall has made a decisive turn in his musical path. For now, though, you can let his sometimes-silly lyrics wash over you by streaming “Love for Serious” above.