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About Keaton Henson
Keaton Henson will release his third official studio album, ‘Kindly Now’, on September 16th via Play It Again Sam.
‘Alright’ was written in Los Angeles shortly after the release of Henson’s acclaimed second album, ‘Birthdays’. Struggling with the apparent trade-off of having to put himself on display in order to make the music he loved, ‘Alright’ describes a very English way of grinning through pain (and also the sense that despite your world shifting so quickly, maybe you haven’t changed very much at all). It’s a stunning introduction to ‘Kindly Now’, a record which simultaneously broadens Keaton’s canvas – more electronic in places, more classical in others – yet also reflects a life-long love of Randy Newman. ‘Kindly Now’ is ultimately Keaton Henson’s most emotionally stripped-back album thus far, an unheroic and unsettling examination of past loves, the role of the artist, and owning up to your own destruction.
‘Kindly Now’ continues an extraordinary journey for Keaton Henson, who quietly released his limited edition, hand-made debut album ‘Dear…’ in 2012, before a surprise Zane Lowe play led to a flurry of investigation into Henson’s identity and whereabouts. Despite choosing not to perform or promote his record in a conventional manner, his heavier second album ‘Birthdays’ saw Keaton make an astonishing return to the live arena: from playing one-on-one for fans, to cinemas, museums and churches internationally. Whilst beginning to write songs for ‘Kindly Now’, Keaton pushed himself in two extreme directions: first, he taught himself the art of orchestration and arrangement, and surprise-released the critically acclaimed collection of bedroom-classical music, ‘Romantic Works’, on the same day as his immediately-sold-out date at London’s Meltdown Festival (at the request of James Lavelle). Then, having completed ‘Kindly Now’, Henson pushed the more electronic textures of some of his new songs into ‘Behaving’, his first album of wholly-electronic music (also staging a DIY, immersive production of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for two-sold out nights at Oval Space, in association with The Barbican).
On top of his work as a worldwide-exhibited visual artist, Keaton has recently released his first poetry collection (‘Idiot Verse’) and scored the forthcoming Balletboyz’ feature-length World-War-One epic ‘Young Men’ in conjunction with the BBC (originally performed at Sadler’s Wells, and resulting in Keaton conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra). This has all – one way or another – fed into ‘Kindly Now’: an album four years in the making, from an artist of whom all you can expect is the unexpected, but reliably unflinching.