Sadness, Sung Sweetly
D Henry Fenton epitomises the musical journeyman. Originally from Sydney but basing himself in the USA, the talented indie-rock minstrel occasionally calls Darwin home and has returned here recently on the back of his latest release, ‘The Loneliest Boy In The World‘.
This new track from Mr Fenton is sadness, sung sweetly. It is clearly written from experience. D Henry Fenton has indeed been a life and musical traveller, untethered for much of the time. This has however allowed him to play such lauded festivals as SXSW in Austin, Texas and win a record deal as a result. He has played and recorded all over the States and performed live with some of the most professional musicians in the world, supporting the likes of Keith Urban, The Corrs and, memorably for locals, Ed Kuepper in Darwin in 2017. He can and does however hold his own on stage and is by himself worth the price of admission.
All this ‘rolling-stone-gathering-no-moss’ stuff though has undoubtedly influenced the heartfelt lyrics and minor-chord emotions of ‘The Loneliest Boy In The World‘. In it, DHF paints a picture in not-so-broad brushstrokes of traveling from city to city, watching others in love – an eternally mobile observer rather than a participant, perhaps the price one pays for one’s art. The power of turning such observations into poetry and music seems to be both a blessing and a curse, a paradoxical gift that can be burdensome. As he says: “My heart is like a padlock on a chain that’s gone to rust.”
DHF’s voice has been described as ‘a vocal cross between Tom Petty and Roy Orbison’. No disagreement there. But a musician is more than just their voice and this writer is instantly reminded of that Australian legend Richard Clapton (Girls On The Avenue/Capricorn Dancer) in style and substance, as well as vocally.
Having had the pleasure of seeing Mr Clapton live a few times (once in 1985 when he supported Neil Young, one of DHF’s musical inspirations, and again 20 years later), it was an easy jump to make. Despite the Americana aspect to D Henry Fenton’s music, perhaps it is a case of ‘you can take the boy out of Australia but you can’t take Australia out of the boy’ that cements the commonality, and provides that extra and familiar layer to his music.
The Loneliest Boy In The World‘ has been getting quite a bit of spin-time on radio lately and no wonder. This track will have you staring off in the distance in reflection of your own experiences, DHF’s voice melding in parts with the instrumentals and incanting an otherworldliness in which time becomes fluid. The accompanying music video (below) invokes visually the same etherealness as that of the track itself:
*You will find the lyrics to ‘The Loneliest Boy In The World’ in the Youtube link
Song: The Loneliest Boy In The World (Radio Edit)
Artist: D Henry Fenton
Album: The Loneliest Boy In The World
Licensed to YouTube by: MGM Distribution
If you missed DHF’s New Years Eve performance, you will have another chance to see him at the Darwin Railway Club on January 15 with The Bloody Marys – event link here:
You can check out more of D Henry Fenton’s music on Spotify here:
Link to the artist’s page here: