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Suffering from such awful stage fright that no proper gigs are happening anytime soon, Henson is unlikely to become the next Bono. And thank goodness for that. His 10-track debut album was recorded in his bedroom, which, we are told, is somewhere in the unglamorous outskirts of London, under Heathrow’s equally razzle-dazzle-free flight path.
A crafter of small music and slow sounds, his songs creep up on you – they don’t shout for your attention, but whisper for it. With his fireplace fingerpicking and fragile voice, at times you want to give him a great big hug and a mug of warm cocoa livened with a nip of confidence-boosting brandy. As an introduction to Keaton Henson, Dear… is the very definition of intimate.
His breakthrough track, You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are, takes the traditional singer-songwriter template, strips it back and layers the bearded Henson’s coy countertenor with an emotional gut-punch similar to that of Bon Iver’s first album, the break-up woodsman blues of For Emma, Forever Ago. Addressed to a former girlfriend, he finishes with the plaintive call of "does his love make your head spin," repeating it as guitar strings throb and Henson’s heart breaks all over again. It would almost be too much to bear, were it not for the soft melody dragging you deeper into his spellbinding sorrow.
Happily, Dear… isn’t all despair and despondency – though be warned, it mostly is. Sarah Minor is a gentle surmising of unreserved adoration despite a person’s faults. "And though your skin’s sheet white and your arms carry scars / Your hair isn’t clean much, your lungs black with tar," he lists, with a demonstrative tremble. Keaton Henson isn’t a show off, but with talent like this, he has every right to be.
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Just a stunning album. Sure it's bleak. Sure it's quiet. Sure it's heartbreaking but sweet lord it's addictive. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Markybod
Like birthday love dear shame Keaton didn't do concerts would be at front of queue xPublished 6 months ago by Mrs Tina parsons
Not a word to throw around, but that is exactly what this all-round artist is. Not content with excelling in one medium, he amazes across the board. Who says polymaths are dead? Read morePublished 7 months ago by The Bookworm
I purchased this product thinking it was a place mat! however I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the CD.Published 11 months ago by Mrs EEA Simpson
Melancholic and raw, but tonally varied and full of surprises. Henson is a remarkable singer-songwriter who deserves much more attention (though he probably wouldn't like that).Published 11 months ago by Mr Sindre Vandvik
What a sneaky album is this. An opening track, "Prologue", does nothing at all, and with your guard down "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are" flows into your ears and lodges firmly... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kev
Probably the best new artist i have found in a number of years, acoustic guitar and modern folk lyrics sung with wavering sensitivity. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Si