|Born||24 March 1988 (age 35)|
|Genres||Folk rock, classical, indie folk, rock|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, visual artist, poet|
|Instrument(s)||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Labels||Oak Ten Records|
Mercury KX/Decca/Universal Classics
Keaton Henson (born 24 March 1988) is an English musician, composer, visual artist, and poet. He has released six studio albums, a wordless graphic novel titled Gloaming, published by Pocko, and a book of poetry called Idiot Verse. Henson suffers from anxiety, and as a result, he rarely plays concerts.
Early life and career beginnings (1988–2012)
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. He 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, and was encouraged to put music online. In November 2010, his debut album Dear... was released on Motive Sounds Recordings, in a self-made limited edition. In 2011 he released the 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".
Henson formed his own record company, Oak Ten Records, and officially re-released his debut album Dear... in 2012. 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". On Metacritic, the album received a score of 70 out of 100. Dear... didn't enter the charts, but three singles were released–"Charon", "Small Hands" and "You Don't Know How Lucky You Are"–all accompanied by music videos. The video for "Charon" was shortlisted for a UK MVA award in Best Budget Indie/Rock Category. "Small Hands" won Best Music Video at the Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival in 2012.
In July 2012, Henson released The Lucky. In November 2012, Henson designed a t-shirt for the Yellow Bird Project to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Birthdays and other projects (2013–2020)
Henson wrote and recorded his album Birthdays in less than a year. He travelled to California to record the album and worked with American producer Joe Chiccarelli. It was released in February 2013. The BBC stated: "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". 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 had 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 released as a limited book edition, featuring illustrations made by different artists accompanying the songs.
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". In August 2013, NPR Music published a live Tiny Desk Concert on its 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, he performed in three churches around England. On 16 June 2014, he performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as part of the James Lavelle-curated Meltdown festival. On the day of the concert, Henson released the album Romantic Works, featuring cellist Ren Ford. It was streamed exclusively on The Guardian website 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. His first three albums were re-pressed on vinyl with bonus tracks in June 2015. In October 2015, he 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. The same month also saw the release of Idiot Verse, Henson's debut poetry collection.
In September 2016, Henson released 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 performed at the Sydney Opera House and released as an LP in 2019.
In May 2020, Henson released his single "Career Day", his first release featuring vocals since "Epilogue". A follow-up single to 2016's Kindly Now, it was followed by the single "Ontario" in June. On 23 October 2020, Henson released 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 eight tracks, including "Marionette", a collaboration with Julien Baker, and the singles "Before Growing Old", "Limb", and "No Love Lost."
House Party (2023–present)
On the 9 June 2023, Keaton Henson released his 7th Studio Album 'House Party'. Marking a stark contrast in sound from previous works, having opted for a more pop/rock oriented sound.
"Envy" was released on the 15 February 2023, accompanied by a music video. In interviews, Keaton mentioned that the concept of the album is from an alternative timeline in which an alternative Keaton Henson embraces the limelight and pursues fame, abandoning friends and family whilst simultaneously winding up all alone in the process.
"The Meeting Place" was released on the 15 March 2023 accompanied by a animation video; described in reviews and interviews as something on the soundtrack of "10 Things I Hate About You".
"I'm Not There" was released on the 26 April accompanied by a music video.
On 24 May 2023, "Late To You" was released accompanied by a music video.
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
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 U.S.). An excerpt from his poetry was quoted in the first episode of STARZ television series The Gloaming. His song "Teach Me" was played on the TV show Greys Anatomy in season 9, episode 19.
|2011||B-Sides and Rarities
|2014||Romantic Works featuring Ren Ford
Concerts and tours
|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|
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- "BalletBoyz — Young Men". Sadler's Wells Theatre. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
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- "Keaton Henson Store". Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
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