Vermont singer-songwriter Henry Jamison has teamed with Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste for a new song, “Green Room.” The track will appear on Jamison’s upcoming Tourism EP, out May 15th via Color Study.
“Green Room” boasts a wistful folk-rock sway and finds Jamison recounting a moment of existential woe in the titular backstage area before a concert. With Droste providing back-up vocals, the pair sing together, “And the monster here, he’s only half of me/ Alligator tears in my cup of tea/And the rain falls now through the hemlock tree/There’s a ghost in me.”
In a statement, Jamison spoke about the origins of the “green room,” noting it earned its name in part because of “how nervous people get before playing,” and also because “Greek actors dedicated their performances to Dionysus, god of Greenery.” For Jamison, the space has been both a sublime and scary one, and he recalled the moment that inspired his song.
“The song is specifically about being in L.A. and seeing the movie Spirited Away come on the TV while I half-slept on the green room couch,” he said. “It was my then-ex-girlfriend’s favorite movie and brought on a flood of memories. It also features a very compelling character called ‘No-Face,’ a being who is so spiritually empty that it needs to devour everything in its sight, a mythical ‘hungry ghost.’ Being in L.A., home to many would-be stars, I was forced to ask if I was a hungry ghost myself, as my career had taken me away from so many things I missed so badly.”
As for working with Droste on the song, Jamison said: “Grizzly Bear has been my favorite band for about 10 years, so I was extremely happy about it. And it’s the first song I’ve had with long melodic lines, which fits his slightly operatic style especially well. My favorite part of the song is when he sings ‘monster.'”
Droste is one of five vocalists that will appear alongside Jamison on the Tourism EP. The others are Fenne Lily, Darlingside, Joseph and Lady Lamb.