Though Henry Wolfe's album 'Linda Vista' is not out until April 5, 2011 (Undermountain Records), his "sturdy, smart" songs are already generating early praise. LA Times has declared Wolfe an artist to watch in 2011 and WXPN notes that "Wolfe's carved out a unique spin on the singer-songwriter tradition with a style that is reminiscent of artists like Harry Nilsson…[and] early Paul Simon."
Years in the making, 'Linda Vista' began taking shape when Wolfe drove from New York - where the self-taught musician and self-described "compulsive songwriter" had become a seasoned performer as frontman for indie rockers Bravo Silva - to Los Angeles. Accompanying him and his possessions in the station wagon were two recent musical acquisitions: Paul McCartney’s 'Ram' and Harry Nilsson’s 'Nilsson Sings Newman.'
Those early-'70s songwriter classics would become guiding lights in Wolfe's new journey. Once he arrived at a hillside bungalow in LA's Laurel Canyon, he started teaching himself jazz standards as well. “I wanted to write songs that combined that tradition of uncomplicated, yet really profound songwriting with the immediate, visceral energy of rock and roll. Kind of like Sir Paul does,” Wolfe says.
That intention comes through on the 10 tracks on 'Linda Vista,' including “Someone Else,” a gentle rocker about life changes, the pleading, slow-trotting break-up song “Stop the Train," and the bouncily reflective "Used To Be."
When it came time to make the album, Wolfe and producers Nico Aglietti and Aaron Older (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes) took the approach of those favorite classic albums: get out of the way and let the songs and performances speak for themselves. Its sweet melodies are sophisticated yet hummable, performed with a swing, a swagger and, most of all, a soul. The result is an assuredly understated debut, a beguiling introduction to an artist on the rise.