After seven years of writing music, Henry Tisch is debuting his project with a song about detachment, confusion and joyous acceptance—and in doing so, beginning the “scary, thrilling journey of putting art into the world”
If you’ve been to any of the New Colossus Summer Sundays at 18th Ward Brewing this summer, you’ll recognize Henry Tisch as the friendly dude sitting on a chair next to the outdoor stage who is somehow making everything sound amazing despite the door that is constantly being slammed two feet from his face by double-fisting fans and the ice-cream truck that inevitably rolls down the street, jingle blasting, during the most quiet and sentimental moments of a song.
But while he’s typically there to work, not to play, it should be no surprise that—like seemingly every individual involved in the music scene, present company excluded—Henry doesn’t just show up to help out; he’s also an artist himself. And at this point he’s been writing his own music, without releasing any, for about seven years.
Now, as in life and love, when it comes to art, there’s nothing more difficult, and generally terrifying, than being vulnerable. Than being willing to turn your insides outside and put your thoughts and feelings on full display. However, it’s only by sharing that which is on your mind and in your heart—translating your truth—that you can truly connect.
The trouble, of course, is getting there. It takes a lot of trial and error (and frequently therapy) to understand what you want to say—and it’s even more difficult to discover how to accurately and eloquently express it. Then, when it comes to sharing it? Well, that’s a whole nother ball game, baby.
However, despite the struggle, it’s a fight that should be fought and a fear that deserves to be pushed through. In the end, the result is always worth the work and worth the wait, which is why there’s nothing I love more than beating witness to—and occasionally, having the honor of helping—an artist that’s releasing their first song into the world.
So: back to Henry! After years of “breaking [his] own heart” (a necessary part of the creative process) as he wrote countless songs and then scrapped them—flurries of excitement followed by feelings of frustration and embarrassment—Henry has finally landed on a track, written back in June 2020, that he truly loves. And I could not be more thrilled or proud to premiere it here.
This is “The Lawn Behind My House,” the debut single from Henry’s project Picture Show!
Keep me close but hold your breath // And hold my hand but keep your seven feet // Almost there but goin’ backwards // Feeling sick, I think I need to breathe
The track itself deals with growing pains—change occurring in one’s internal and external worlds and the discomfort, and eventual freedom, that comes along with working through it—but when asked to provide some background, what seemed more important for Henry to share than the meaning behind the song was the role of the release itself. Earlier this week, the artist sent over some thoughts on not just the product but more importantly the process, touching on the ideas being expressed in the song and explaining the significant and exciting moment—a big step and true turning point—it marks for him as an artist.
“‘The Lawn Behind My House’ is the first song I wrote that I never got tired of. Other artists will know what I mean – you make a song, a painting, a screenplay, and two months later you look back and think, ‘How did I think that was any good?’…
So, to me, above the song’s themes of sudden detachment from the ones you love, confusion about the unpredictable, strange world we live in, and the eventual joyous acceptance of that strangeness, this song is my battle cry as I begin the scary, thrilling journey of putting art into the world, hoping someone out there will get something out of it.”
Of course premiering a debut single doesn’t just require introducing an audience to a new song, but a project as a whole, and Henry also sent over some info Picture Show that hints at the variety of styles and subjects one can imagine the artist embracing and exploring in the future.
“Picture Show wants you to dance sometimes, and it wants you to yell sometimes. Picture Show wants you to be really happy sometimes, and sometimes it wants you to let yourself get really mad. Picture Show wants you to take it seriously, and not seriously at all. Okay?
Picture Show makes music in New York City, but you can take it with you anywhere at this point. Picture Show tries to find people that like loud, angry music, but sometimes it’s jut looking for someone to sway with, maybe nod their heads a little. Picture Show yells sometimes, but it’s not mad at you. Picture Show is really happy that you’re here.”
On that last note, the feeling is very, very mutual.
Alright! Now that you’ve been properly acquainted with the project, don’t miss your chance to catch it live! Picture Show is performing THIS FRIDAY NIGHT at Heaven Can Wait with Corner Store and LOV (tix here).
Go out and celebrate as Henry takes his next big step as an artist: playing a song live for a crowd of people that have listened to it, and loved it, already.
Follow Picture Show at @itspictureshow!
Feature image provided by the artist.