Keaton Henson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Keaton Henson
Keaton Henson.jpg
Keaton Henson (2012)
Background information
Birth name Keaton Henson
Born 24 March 1988 (1988-03-24) (age 26)
London, England
Genres Folk rock, alternative rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, visual artist, poet
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2009–present
Labels Oak Ten Records
Associated acts The Flight

Keaton Henson (born 24 March 1988)[1] is an English folk rock musician, visual artist and poet from London.

As a musician Henson usually sings and plays guitar. Henson suffers from serious stage fright and, as a result, he rarely plays concerts.[2] His art show "Hithermost" took place at the Pertwee, Anderson & Gold gallery in London in January 2013 and "sold quickly".[3] He has also released a wordless graphic novel called "Gloaming", published by Pocko, which is "essentially a field guide to a spirit world beyond our reality".[4][5]


Early life and career beginnings (1988-2012)[edit]

Keaton Henson was born in 1988 in London, England. He is the son of actor Nicky Henson and ballet dancer Marguerite Porter.[6]

Originally Henson was an illustrator. He designed the artwork for various albums including Dananananaykroyd's Hey Everyone! and Enter Shikari's Take to the Skies.[7] Henson recorded songs in his apartment in London, initially purely for his own consumption. He gave a recording of one of the songs as a gift for his best friend,[8] and was encouraged to put music online.[6] In November 2010 his debut album Dear... was released on Motive Sounds Recordings, in a limited edition which he made by hand himself.[9] In 2011 he released a single, "Metaphors", on Porchlight Records. He also recorded "Don't Be Afraid" for the Tormented soundtrack.

Henson's breakthrough came when Zane Lowe played "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are" on BBC Radio 1 for the first time on Wednesday September 7, 2011, saying: "That piece of music right there is one of the most special pieces of music I've heard in a very very long time". The play received a rapturous reaction from listeners.[10]

Henson formed his own Oak Ten Records and officially re-released his debut album Dear... in 2012. It went on to sell over 7,000 copies and gained a cult following.[8] The album was well critically acclaimed: the BBC said "Keaton Henson isn't a show-off, but with talent like this, he has every right to be",[11] and on Metacritic the album received a score of 70 out of 100.[12] The album, which never charted, spawned three singles — "Charon", "Small Hands" and "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are" — all of which were accompanied by music videos. The video for "Charon" was shortlisted for a UK MVA award in Best Budget Indie/Rock Category.[13] "Small Hands" won Best Music Video at Rushes Soho Shorts 2012.[14]

Henson released The Lucky EP in July 2012.

Henson's music ("Charon", "Corpse Roads", "To Your Health") has been featured in the BBC Three zombie drama In the Flesh.

In November 2012, Henson designed a t-shirt for the Yellow Bird Project to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Birthdays (2013-present)[edit]

Henson wrote and recorded his second album in less than a year. He travelled to California to record the album and worked with American producer Joe Chiccarelli.[15] In February 2013 he released Birthdays. The BBC said of the album: "Up there, warmed by the fire, he's cloistered away from Twitter and all the other evils of this parish. There's no better way to shut out the din than by putting this record on".[16] A limited edition version of the album was released featuring three bonus songs and a hand-painted piece of art, taken from a large painting Henson made and cut up into 196 pieces. Birthdays has spawned three singles so far: "Lying to You", "Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us" and "You" (which was a limited edition 7" single for Record Store Day with an etching by Henson on the b-side). The album was also released as a very limited book edition, featuring illustrations made by different artists accompanying the songs.[17]

In 2012 and 2013, Henson performed sporadically, usually in tiny venues, galleries or museums. In late 2013 he performed in three churches around England.

In August 2013 NPR Music published a live 'Tiny Desk Concert' on YouTube [18] with the set list "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are", "Sweetheart What Have You Done To Us", and "You".

On 16 June 2014 Henson performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as part of the James Lavelle-curated Meltdown festival.[19] Earlier on the day of the expected gig, Henson released a new album with no previous announcement. The album, his third, titled Romantic Works and featuring cellist Ren Ford, was initially streamed exclusively on The Guardian website[20] and later Spotify.


Year Title
2010/2012 Dear...
  • Released: 2010; 2 April 2012
  • Format: CD, LP and digital download
2013 Birthdays
  • Released: 25 February 2013
  • Format: CD, LP and digital download
2014 Romantic Works (featuring Ren Ford)
  • Released: 16 June 2014
  • Format: CD and digital download


  1. ^ "Allmusic Keaton Henson". Keaton Henson. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  2. ^ Wojciechowski, Robbie (3 October 2012). "The Guardian, Keaton Henson Interview". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  3. ^ "Upcoming review of Hithermost". The Upcoming. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  4. ^ "Gloaming description". Pocko. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  5. ^ "Keaton Henson The Gloaming". Keaton Henson Sandbag. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  6. ^ a b Lamont, Tom (17 February 2013). "Keaton Henson: 'Playing live? I have trouble just holding a conversation!'". The Guardian (London). 
  7. ^ "Keaton Henson credits". Discogs. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Keaton Henson Biography". Baeble Music. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Wojciechowski, Robbie (3 October 2012). "Keaton Henson: fame, stage fright and the discomfort of strangers". The Guardian (London). 
  10. ^ "Zane Lowe YouTube clip". Motive Sounds. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "BBC Dear... Review". BBC. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Metacritic Dear... Score". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "John Malcolm Moore director info". Cargo Collective. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Promo News piece". Promo News. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Rough Trade Events, Keaton Henson". Rough Trade. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  16. ^ BBC - Music - Review of Keaton Henson - Birthdays
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Keaton Henson - Southbank Centre". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Keaton Henson: Romantic Works – exclusive album stream". The Guardian. 16 June 2014. 

External links[edit]