Undiscovered Musicians: Keaton Henson

Floating across the magical land of 8tracks, a site for users to create personal playlists,bounced from one indie playlist to the next, before eventually stumbling upon a gem of an artist: Keaton Henson. Soulful, lyrical and emotive, Henson’s music is both breathtakingly beautiful, and yet, deceivingly simple on the surface.

Genres: indie, folk rock, classical, alternative rock

I fell in love with Henson’s serenade (if one can consider it that, for the melancholic theme of “death” may be considered more significant), “You” for its profound, inspiring lyrics.

Perhaps my favourite verse is the following:

If you must leave,
Leave as though fire burns under your feet

— If you must leave, leave quickly. Without hesitation, without turning back. Be certain of this decision and follow it through without remorse.

If you must speak,
Speak every word as though it were unique

— Savour your words, for they leave an impression. With every word, enunciate, protest and declare, leaving them as remainders of yourself: your words are special, they deserve to be heard. Refrain from mumbling, murmuring or muttering, and speak out. (I’m currently writing an English assignment on freedom, so this is a prominent theme within my mind)

If you must die, sweetheart
Die knowing your life was my life’s best part

— Possibly the sweetest part of the song, and yet, extremely heartbreaking. How eerie to think that, the best part of our life, is another life… which is as temporary as ours.

And if you must die,
Remember your life

— Own a life you are proud of. Own a life you can look back upon, and remember the essence of life: the little things, the little moments, that burst with vivid colour and life.

***

After immediately falling in love with this song –the lyrics, the words, Henson’s beautiful voice– I streamed through YouTube, stumbling across, for me, one of the most emotionally charged songs ever heard: Lying to You. 

An entire story, an abundance of emotions, all situated within the one song. Perhaps my favourite lyric is the following deceptively simple one:

And the one thing that keeps me
from falling for you,
is I’m truly alone and I like it–
I’m truly alone and I like it

— Lying to You, Keaton Henson

With his soft singing and emotionally charged lyrics, Henson’s powerful music digs up feelings, thoughts and atmospheres I thought I’d left behind –sentimental yet strong, he’s undoubtedly one of my favourite artists –and a tragically undiscovered one.

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