WL//WH Video Of The Day: M. JOHN HENRY “Northern Strangers” [Pt.7]

Video Of The Day   M. JOHN HENRY   

‘Northern Strangers’ is a collection of collage film vignettes in the key of silent films. Music acting as dialogue, image as narrative. Glimpses of confusion, peripheral vision, fear, love & longing in seven parts. A daydream & night terror jigsaw puzzle for your entertainment.

Martin John Henry is a Scottish songwriter-singer-guitarist with a solo LP in 2011, entitled “The Other Half of Everything” on Gargleblast Records, under his belt. Mainly known as a founder member of the acclaimed 5-piece rock miserabilists De Rosa, with three renowned albums on the Chemikal Underground and Rock Action labels between 2006-2016, and also part of Whin and Henry & Fleetwood, as well as a collaborator of Malcolm Middleton, King Creosote, and Barry Burns of Mogwai.

The Bellshill, Lanarkshire native returns with a new song, “Northern Strangers”, featured on the eponymous Soundtrack curated by Edinburgh-based filmmaker Kris Boyle, who has made seven new videos to accompany new musical works by Scottish composers Auld White Label, Babygod, Robert Dallas Gray, Haunted Stars and M. John Henry himself.

Kris gave each musician a title or phrase as a starting point with no other brief. He then made his moving image work separately, not hearing the music until after most of the films were made. The result is a collection of paired visual-audio works, each open to the chance encounters of harmony or contrast.

M. John Henry‘s evocative lyrics describe an unexpected rendezvous with a fiery witch who enthralls an unsuspecting soul with a heady, transformational spell of strangeness.

Slow simmering warm moods, lingering with subtle tension and menace, compel obsessive sharp plucked and strummed twangy banjo melodies, to weave wistful introspection, fueled by sparse crisp percussions, low tremoring bass pulses, echoing acoustic guitar strains, billowy fluid organ swathes, and sneakily swishy effects, to underlie powerful, evocative heartfelt vocals, confessing the imprint of a weird encounter, into hypnotic glistening, and vaguely strident, ripples of unforgettable memories.

Thought-provoking visuals by Kris Boyle build a haunting folklore mystery using nested layers of subconscious dimensions to explore the metaphysical vibes of the soundtrack. Dark, primal, archetypal imagery conjures ‘beauty and the beast’ suggestions whilst blurry romantic visions in a disenchanted forest, under smoky moonlit glows, set the stage for a savage encounter. What makes this narrative different is the symbolic parallel timelines that inject an unexpected futuristic twist into the plot, opening paradoxical doorways where fantasy, reality, and dreams collide.

The compilation “Northern Strangers” can be purchased at the NS Bandcamp link here and all profits will be donated to SAMH, the Scottish mental health charity.

Keep up with M. John Henry / Kris Boyle:

M. JOHN HENRY | Twitter | Mastodon | Instagram  | Threads | Bandcamp |

KRIS BOYLE | Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube |