In much of his work, Keaton Henson keeps to himself and manages to speak painfully well of a certain type of introversion, the kind that will let no one, not even a loved one, through. For many it may seem like a situation that contradicts itself, because we’ve all been taught that love means letting your guard down. For a few who have experienced it, it’s a strangely cosy state in which little can get to your heart.
drawing by Keaton Henson
Whereas his drawings are intricate details of the trivial daily life, most of his music tends to be sparse, acoustic guitars and a voice that always seems on the verge of breaking. Keaton claims to enjoy spending time alone and yet, he allows his audience to explore so much of his inner landscapes. Art is sometimes a scary place to be, with all of your feelings plastered to the wall, or pasted into songs, and everyone ready to take it all apart, to analyse and discuss it. Sophie, for example, is a bizarre presence one cannot help to wonder about: the girl from the song and the girl he thanks at the end of one of his sketchbooks. Similar to Bright Eyes‘ Arienette, she’s a slightly eerie, recurrent shadow and maybe someone who broke him – or maybe a mirage, the ideal of what a platonic relationship should be. And in a way, it feels that all of his songs, all of his work is dedicated to Sophie, the one he meets over and over, the one he fails to love, or the one he has yet to encounter.
The new track, which premiered yesterday, is no exception. Lying To You is maybe one of the most melodic and beautiful songs he’s written, where strings intertwine with guitars, and possibly one of the most heartbreaking ones, too; it’s almost unbearable to hear his confused confession, which ends by defining a distant, blurry presence in the background:
Keaton Henson’s new album, Birthdays, will be released on February 25th via Oak Ten. You can preorder it here.
It may seem strange that I still stay with you
If it’s true, you’re not really the one
Why don’t I just keep on looking for her
..Cause I found her and now she is gone