In a world dominated by celebrity and reality TV culture, it’s sometimes refreshing to discover something completely contrary. Don’t get us wrong; talent shows, big budget music videos, and sold-out stadium performances are all fine, but sometimes you just need something a little more down to earth. So, if it’s the antidote to the X-Factor you’re looking for, they don’t come much better than English musician, Keaton Henson.
The London songwriter has a melancholy style that has been hailed by critics as extraordinary. One such example of praise came from Radio 1 DJ, Zane Lowe, who described his song “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are” as “one of the most special pieces of music I’ve heard in a very, very long time”.
Despite such critical acclaim he continues to suffer from severe stage fright and subsequently, rarely performs live. Instead, he dedicates his time to writing & recording songs at his flat, and the result is truly inspiring. If earthy music is your thing, check out his debut album, Dear…, and its follow-up Birthdays for some truly honest displays of emotion rarely seen in popular music.
Henson’s most recent work has seen him take a radical change in direction by writing a classical piece for cello, woodwind, and piano entitled “Romantic Works”. Recorded entirely in Henson’s bedroom, the wholly instrumental piece opens with “Elevator Song”, inspired by an episode of pre-performance anxiety in a lift.
Following a rare live performance at Meltdown festival earlier this year, Henson has once again retreated to his home studio to work on new material. And, we are pleased to see him using a Shure SM7B and a pair of KSM141’s to record piano and vocals at his home studio.
It just goes to show you what can be achieved with a relatively humble recording setup. Inspired by his personal journey and challenges, Henson has created music that transcends production values. The music truly speaks for itself, and in many ways, his weakness becomes his biggest strength.
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