Keaton Henson has shared ‘Husk’, the latest track to be lifted from his new album, released in the Autumn. Monument will be unveiled on the 23rd October 2020. It will be Keaton’s first album since 2016’s Kindly Now LP.
Evaluating the meaning of the song, Keaton explains: “Husk is about waking up and realising that you’ve aged. That time, the traitor, has taken from you your best years, the ones where your bones didn’t ache and you could make it through the day without questioning existence.”
Take a listen below…
Keaton moved from London to the wilds of the English countryside after the release of Six Lethargies, spending long days outside chopping wood, tending to the grounds, and watching birds of prey soaring above. It was from this remote outpost that he felt ready to look at a subject he had been avoiding for his entire songwriting career; the decades long illness, and imminent death of his father, who passed two days before he finished recording the album.
Keaton states: “I suppose it is, at its heart, much like my first record; a collection of things I wanted to say, just so they’re out of my system, and not necessarily for anyone else to hear. I made it at home, mostly alone, to the sound of birds and rainstorms, at strange hours of day and night.
But, once the bones were recorded, I was somewhat unexpectedly joined by an amazing group of people, who came to musically lift me on their shoulders, and take these unsaid feelings to another plain in terms of sound.”
These people came in the form of production by Luke Smith, Radiohead’s Philip Selway providing drums and percussion, guitars provided by Leo Abrahams, saxophones from composer Charlotte Harding and at one point a full string section.
It culminates in a record that is at once intensely intimate and vulnerable, but carries with it a confidence and elevation in its musical language; the simple up-close picking of Henson’s guitar lifted on a soft bed of electronics and lo-fi tape sound, the moments of joyful acceptance punctuated by soaring drums and woodwinds.
In essence, Monument is an album about death, but in exploring that theme, becomes an album about life. It is singular in its vulnerability, and an unmistakeable artistic arrival for Keaton. With songs that are clearly speaking intimately from personal experience, but with an eloquence and artfulness that make it feel universal. An astonishing record by a singular talent.
Also due for release by Keaton is a new poetry book called ‘Accident Dancing’, which details his life in fragments, from the extreme to the mundane. Accompanied by evocative pencil illustrations, it is an intimate and unapologetically personal insight into this extremely emotive artist.
Keaton writes: “Accident Dancing is everything the way I remember it; i.e. fragmented, chaotic and often grammatically incorrect. I hope it feels authentically like a memory if nothing else. It was just something I needed to shake from my head.”
‘Accident Dancing’ is to be published on 22nd October by Faber Music.