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Keaton Henson

House Party

    Two years after ‘Monument’, Keaton Henson comes back with a new studio album, ‘House Party’. About the album, Keaton says : “I wanted to make an upbeat confident pop record about depression and being a performer, written from the viewpoint of an artist who has hollowed himself out over a long career in the name of success, an alternate universe version of me (the guy in the pink suit), who is left empty and lonely from climbing to the top, but is still only able to express these feelings in the language of confident, performative pop songs.”

    Henson says that once he knew he was making a pop album, something inside him was allowed to run free. The stakes were somehow lowered. Take, for instance, the blissfully bleary ache of Envy one of several choruses on the record that resound in your head long after the needle reaches the runout groove. Henson says that when he wrote the song, he was trying to channel the fist pumping triumphalism of Britpop. However, that’s not something altogether apparent to anyone listening to the song. What you hear instead is perhaps something closer to the tender consolation songs of Teenage Fanclub. It’s almost as if, in this parallel world, the guy in the pink suit arrestingly depicted on the sleeve of House Party by acclaimed figurative artist Tristan Pigott is starting to fall apart before real life Keaton has fully clocked it.


    1. I’m Not There
    2. Rain In My Favourite House
    3. Envy
    4. The Meeting Place
    5. Two Bad Teeth
    6. Stay
    7. Late To You
    8. Parking Lot
    9. Holiday
    10. The Mine
    11. Hooray
    12. Hide Those Feelings

    Keaton Henson


      Keaton Henson’s new album Monument is a rare thing. It is an album about loss, and dealing with losing the ones we love, but told, in incredibly candid detail, through the aspects of our lives that surround the trauma itself, about love, ageing, recovery, life, seen through the prism of grief.

      With the posting of an enigmatic and cryptic goodbye in 2016; Epilogue, Henson’s next project ended up becoming Six Lethargies, a complex and ambitious symphony for string orchestra, dealing with the minutiae of mental illness. He put away the guitar and retreated to his home for three years to compose it. Monument now finds Keaton re-emerging with an album of songs about grief, and how it permeates our lives.

      The record began when, having recovered from both Six Lethargies and the circumstances that inspired it, Henson moved from London to the wilds of the English countryside, 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 finally 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: “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 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, that feels like jumping in a cold pool on a warm day.

      The sound of tape and VHS are a crucial vein that run throughout the album, carrying the feeling of memory and nostalgia, family and childhood. The subtle recurring use of home video sounds suddenly brings the biographical nature of the album to life, before receding again into the background.


      1. Ambulance
      2. Self Portrait
      3. Ontario
      4. Career Day
      5. Prayer
      6. While I Can
      7. Bed
      8. The Grand Old Reason
      9. Husk
      10. Thesis
      11. Bygones

      Keaton Henson



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