Keaton Henson

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Keaton Henson
Henson in 2012
Henson in 2012
Background information
Born24 March 1988 (1988-03-24) (age 34)
London, England
GenresFolk rock, classical, indie folk, rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, visual artist, poet
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active2009–present
LabelsOak Ten Records
Mercury KX/Decca/Universal Classics
Websitekeatonhenson.com

Keaton Henson (born 24 March 1988)[1] is an English musician, composer,[2] visual artist, and poet. Henson has released six studio albums. a wordless graphic novel called Gloaming, published by Pocko,[3][4] and a book of poetry called Idiot Verse.[5] Henson suffers from anxiety and, as a result, rarely plays concerts.[6]

History[edit]

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, and the half-brother of composer Christian Henson.[7]

Henson began his career as an illustrator. He designed the artwork for various albums including Dananananaykroyd's Hey Everyone! and Enter Shikari's Take to the Skies.[8] 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 to his best friend,[9] and was encouraged to put music online.[7] In November 2010 his debut album Dear... was released on Motive Sounds Recordings, in a self-made limited edition.[10] In 2011 he released a single, "Metaphors", on Porchlight Records. He also recorded "Don't Be Afraid" for the Tormented soundtrack.

Henson's musical breakthrough came when Zane Lowe played "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are" on BBC Radio 1 for the first time on 7 September 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". Lowe said that the reaction from listeners had been 'brilliant'.[11]

Henson formed his own record company, Oak Ten Records, and officially re-released his debut album Dear... in 2012.[9] The album was critically acclaimed: the BBC reported "Keaton Henson isn't a show-off, but with talent like this, he has every right to be".[12] On Metacritic the album received a score of 70 out of 100.[13] Dear... didn't enter the charts but from it three singles were released– "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.[14] "Small Hands" won Best Music Video at the Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival in 2012.[15]

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

Birthdays and further projects (2013–2020)[edit]

Henson wrote and recorded his second album, Birthdays, in less than a year. He travelled to California to record the album and worked with American producer Joe Chiccarelli.[16] and it was released in February 2013. 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".[17] 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 by Henson which had been cut into 196 pieces. Birthdays spawned three singles: "Lying to You", "Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us", and "You" (released as 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 limited book edition, featuring illustrations made by different artists accompanying the songs.[18]

In 2012 and 2013, Henson performed sporadically, usually in small venues, galleries or museums. His art show "Hithermost" took place at the Pertwee, Anderson & Gold gallery in London in January 2013 and "sold quickly".[19] In August 2013 NPR Music published a live Tiny Desk Concert on their website and on YouTube. The songs performed included "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are", "Sweetheart What Have You Done to Us" and "You". In late 2013 Henson performed in three churches around England.

On 16 June 2014 Henson performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as part of the James Lavelle-curated Meltdown festival.[20] On the day of the concert, Henson released an unannounced new album, Romantic Works, featuring cellist Ren Ford. It was initially streamed exclusively on The Guardian website[21] and later on Spotify.

In early 2015 Henson composed a score for Young Men, a dance project from BalletBoyz which was performed at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London as a co-production with 14-18 NOW.[22] Henson's first three albums were re-pressed on vinyl with bonus tracks in June 2015.[23]

In October 2015 Henson released an album as part a side project, under the pseudonym Behaving. The album was more electronic sounding than his previous releases and was first streamed on Soundcloud and iTunes.[24] The same month also saw the release of Henson's debut poetry collection, Idiot Verse.[25]

In September 2016 Henson released his latest studio album, Kindly Now. In July 2018 his Six Lethargies for string orchestra was premiered at the Barbican Centre by Britten Sinfonia. The 70-minute work was jointly commissioned by the Barbican, Vivid Sydney and National Concert Hall, Dublin. It was also performed at the Sydney Opera House, and was subsequently released as an LP in 2019.

Monument (2020-present)[edit]

In May 2020, Henson released his single "Career Day", which was his first release featuring vocals since "Epilogue". A follow-up single to 2016's Kindly Now, it was followed by another single, "Ontario", in June. On 23 October 2020, Henson released his latest record Monument. The album features Philip Selway of Radiohead on drums and percussion. The album deals with his father, Nicky Henson, and his battle with a terminal illness. The album was completed two days before his father's death. A follow up EP to 'Monument', 'Fragments' was released on 27th August 2021. Recorded at the same time as "Monument", it features 8 tracks, including a collaboration with Julien Baker, "Marionette", and the singles "Before Growing Old", "Limb", and "No Love Lost."

Henson also provided the music for the 2020 film Supernova directed by Harry Macqueen. The soundtrack was released by Lakeshore Records on 29 January 2021.[26]

Collaborations[edit]

Henson has appeared on The Flight's EP Hangman, The Staves EP Mexico and with the London electronic group Unkle on several tracks including "Farewell", "Sonata" and "Sick Lullaby" from The Road: Part 1 and "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" from The Road: Part II (Lost Highway).

In popular culture[edit]

Henson's music has featured in the BBC Three zombie drama In the Flesh (2013-2014), Derek, Elementary, The Blacklist and in the 2014 film X+Y (known as A Brilliant Young Mind in the US). An excerpt from his poetry was quoted in the first episode of STARZ television series “The Gloaming". His song "Teach Me" was played in the hit TV show "Greys Anatomy" in Season 9 Episode 19.

Discography[edit]

Year Title
2010/2012 Dear...
  • Released: 2010; 2 April 2012
  • Format: CD, LP and digital download
2011 B-Sides and Rarities
  • Released: 13 May 2011
  • Format: CD, EP
2013 Birthdays
  • Released: 25 February 2013
  • Format: CD, LP and digital download
2014 Romantic Works featuring Ren Ford
  • Released: 16 June 2014
  • Format: CD, limited LP and digital download
2015 Behaving (as Behaving)
  • Released: 7 October 2015
  • Format: Digital download
2015 5 Years
  • Released: 12 November 2015
  • Format: Limited CD
2016 Kindly Now
  • Released: 16 September 2016
  • Format: CD, LP and digital download
2019 Six Lethargies
  • Released: 25 October 2019
  • Format: CD, 3-sided LP
2020 Monument
  • Released: 23 October 2020
  • Format: CD, LP and digital download
2021 Fragments
  • Released: 27 August 2021
  • Format: Digital download

Concerts & Tours[edit]

Year Location Title
12/12/2011 Maida Vale Studios, London, England Festive Festival
04/10/2012 The Cinema Museum, London, UK The Cinema Museum
07/02/2013 The Jeffrey Room at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, UK Museum Tour 2013
01/02/2013 Preston Park Museum, Stockton-on-Tees, UK
14/02/2013 Manchester Museum, Manchester, England
18/02/2013 Freud Museum, London, England
28/02/2013 History of Science Museum, Oxford, England
01/03/2013 History of Science Museum, Oxford, England
08/03/2013 Booth Museum Of Natural History, Brighton, UK
08/04/2013 Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, New York, NY, USA Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
09/10/2013 The Chapel, San Francisco, CA, USA The Chapel, San Francisco
11/04/2013 Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles, CA, USA Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
12/09/2013 Emmanuel Centre, London, England Emmanuel Centre
11/10/2013 The Methodist Church of Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA, USA The Methodist Church
19/10/2013 St Bartholomew's Church, Brighton, England St Bartholomew's Church
29/10/2013 St Andrew's in the Square, Glasgow, UK St Andrew's in the Square
05/11/2013 Église Saint-Eustache, Paris, France Les Inrocks Festival 2013
07/11/2013 Geertekerk, Utrecht, Netherlands Geertekerk
11/11/2013 Town Hall, Manchester, England Town Hall
16/05/2014 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, UK Queen Elizabeth Hall
11/05/2015 Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands Holland Festival 2015
15/08/2015 National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland National Concert Hall
27/11/2015 Church of the Resurrection, Katowice, Poland XXIV Festival Ars Cameralis
04/02/2016 Roundhouse, London, UK Roundhouse
10/06/2016 New Theatre, Cardiff, UK Festival Of Voice
23/10/2016 Café de la Danse, Paris, France Café de la Danse
26/10/2016 Passionskirche, Berlin, Germany Passionskirche
01/11/2016 Royal Theatre Carré (Koninklijk Theater Carré), Amsterdam, Netherlands Royal Theatre Carré
18/11/2016 London Palladium, London, UK London Palladium
14/01/2017 Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles, CA, USA Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
17/01/2017 The Great Hall, Toronto, Canada The Great Hall
30/01/2017 Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria Konzerthaus
11/02/2017 Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland Olympia Theatre
31/05/2019 Sydney Opera House, Australia Vivid Festival

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Allmusic Keaton Henson". Keaton Henson. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Keaton Henson | Faber Music". www.fabermusic.com. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Gloaming description". Pocko. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Keaton Henson Store - The Gloaming". Sandbag. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Idiot Verse description". Eyewear Publishing. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  6. ^ Wojciechowski, Robbie (3 October 2012). "The Guardian, Keaton Henson Interview". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  7. ^ a b Lamont, Tom (17 February 2013). "Keaton Henson: 'Playing live? I have trouble just holding a conversation'". The Guardian. London.
  8. ^ "Keaton Henson credits". Discogs. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Keaton Henson Biography". Baeble Music. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  10. ^ Wojciechowski, Robbie (3 October 2012). "Keaton Henson: fame, stage fright and the discomfort of strangers". The Guardian. London.
  11. ^ "Zane Lowe YouTube clip". Motive Sounds. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  12. ^ "BBC Dear... Review". BBC. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Metacritic Dear... Score". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  14. ^ "John Malcolm Moore director info". Cargo Collective. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Promo News piece". Promo News. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Rough Trade Events, Keaton Henson". Rough Trade. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  17. ^ BBC – Music – Review of Keaton Henson – Birthdays
  18. ^ "Keaton Henson - Beekeeper (with illustration by Lynnie Zulu)". YouTube. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Upcoming review of Hithermost". The Upcoming. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Keaton Henson – Southbank Centre". Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  21. ^ "Keaton Henson: Romantic Works – exclusive album stream". The Guardian. 16 June 2014.
  22. ^ "BalletBoyz — Young Men". Sadler's Wells Theatre. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  23. ^ "All three Keaton Henson albums treated to vinyl represses". The Vinyl Factory. 5 June 2015.
  24. ^ Luke Cheadle (7 October 2015). "Premiere: Stream Keaton Henson's Behaving LP in Full". XLR8R.
  25. ^ "Keaton Henson Store". Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  26. ^ Trunick, Austin (14 January 2021). "Premiere: Keaton Henson – "The Road to Lilly's" from 'Supernova' Soundtrack". Under The Radar. Retrieved 31 January 2022.

External links[edit]