Sometimes, all one needs to get through onset anxiety is music that makes you smile. Thankfully, that’s what Los Angeles-based artist Henry Hall specializes in.
His one-of-a-kind alternative pop pairs his captivating falsetto with witty, idiosyncratic lyrics, creating a self-deprecating and soulful synthesis. Think The Smiths meets Prince, and you’d be close.
New Noise is proud to premiere the music video for Hall’s latest single, “Alive, Annoyed,” the tenth track from his 2020 debut full-length album, Neato:
After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2014, Hall moved to New York City to play live shows and craft My Friends Don’t Like Me, his 2016 EP release. The project garnered attention online and eventually landed a placement on the Judd Apatow-produced Netflix series, Love. His subsequent single, “Talk,” broke one million streams on Spotify in 2018 and soundtracked a Casey Neistat YouTube video that has over 10 million views.
Hall’s 2020 debut full-length album, Neato, is movingly melancholic and anxious like our current 2020 reality, yet still hilariously ironic and impressive musically in Hall’s signature style. It is the best demonstration of his disturbingly funny and catchy brand of indie rock to date.
In January 2021, Hall caught a huge break by making his television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Hall performed “Alive, Annoyed,” showcasing his unique vocal style and range, witty lyrics, and masterful guitar playing. You can watch that performance here.
On the video for “Alive, Annoyed,” the video’s directors Grace Gregory and Joe Metcalf state:
“As a songwriter, Henry is so good at capturing very specific feelings, like with the hook of his song “Son” from Neato: “I’ll never be okay with the idea of my son being left out” — like, what? It’s so good. And “Alive, Annoyed” is another perfect example: it has this vivid narrative that resonates from the very first verse. He sings “Baby, under the moonlight” in this romantic waltzing tempo, and the next line is “you are annoying me, tonight.”
The first time we heard the song it was so clear how well a comedic music video would complement it; the story is begging to be acted out. Mary and Henry are both exceptional comedic performers, so directing them was such a joyful experience and allowed for a lot of improvisation and freedom on set. We could give them a circumstance or dynamic and let them play, and they would end up giving us SO much to choose from in the editing process.
We wanted our video to help tell this story Henry had written about a relationship in which irritation, frustration and annoyance coexist with intense love and a feeling of comfort and being alive. Being annoyed is totally intoxicating and almost addicting and there is pain, pleasure, and power in that. Even though Henry is the only vocalist on the track, it was important to us to explore the POV of both halves of this couple and feature them both lip syncing, because a messy relationship is usually a two-way street…
We (Joe and Grace) have been best friends and have been collaborating artistically since we were in the 6th grade (and please believe we have a library of Photobooth videos to prove it), so directing this together was so enjoyable and easy, in the sense that our visions and points of view are so aligned. We trust one another’s creative inclinations completely which always makes the process so much stronger.”
Purchase and stream Neato through Hall’s official website here.