Music Mondays! Is it a thing...? I dunno... Maybe? This one's about Keaton Henson.
Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of the Vox Chaotica Council! Music is my life. If you don't believe me: Complete, The Darling Sounds Demo, Interpol and a lot more. But I haven't talked much about the music I listen to—or at least I just mention it now and then. So I decided to start a new segment: Music Mondays!
Now, it's basically impossible to see, but those inane scratchy scrambles on the hare's chest say Keaton Henson and Dear. As a small aside, this is the perfect album for me to start with—sitting next to a roaring fire I crafted with my own hands, drinking Twining's Peppermint tea (it's a tisane, technically, but have you tasted Earl Grey? Or any kind of green tea—you know, the ones what taste like hay?) out of my England mug—made of the finest English porcelain. Keaton Henson, writer of the line "You were the one who told me not to be so English," may have been proud of me if he wasn't so intimidated by the stage and had ever met me. Because that would have been easy, my living in Arizona and his living in London...
Anyway, I met with this delightful album back when I was still living in the dorms—through my addiction of the day, Stumbleupon. Some underground blog—you know the type: some guy in a camel jacket, skinny jeans, and a scene haircut plastered against his forehead with grease asks you the password, and you say "Bluebird" (because yesterday it was "Yellowbird" and tomorrow it'll be "Redbird"), he shrugs, flicks his half-finished American Spirit cigarette to the ground, and pulls the elevator grate aside to let you down a few floors to the super-secret hipster hangout place called Club Pop; a place playing Top 40 songs at intolerable volumes ironically, which everyone rips to shreds with sarcastic quips about "predictable structure," "insipid lyrics," and "bland bourgeois sensibilities" (but is secretly in love with, and they know all the words to every song). Wow that got out of hand. Let's set ourselves straight, shall we?
This underground blog was like, "Hey Cutter! GO LISTEN to Keaton Henson. This song: Small Hands. You'll love it."
"Hey, Vox Chaotica Member! GO LISTEN to Keaton Henson. This song: Small Hands"
So I listened to it—heard the delicate, fragile tones barely escaping the singer's mouth, his quiet intensity bypassing my head entirely and plummeting like a tonne of bricks right into my poor heart. I heard the intricate lattice of his melody and his guitarwork growing together like ivy on the side of a house. I didn't—and still don't—care for the amount of vibrato in his voice, but that cannot be helped much in many cases. As with a good 90% of all the music I like, it was the lyrics that sealed the deal. A song about quiet heartbreak, subtly said to avoid explicit ties but all so specifically personal... Ooh did it get me in all sorts of a tizzy. [Editor's note: is that a thing anyone says anymore? No? Well, I say it.]
Go give it a listen—sweet mother-flipping yeezus, I put the link above in a gigantic embed, so you can't tell my you missed it. Then take a listen to Oliver Dalston Browning, the sad tale of a partially obsessed/partially misunderstood introvert man and his unfortunate attraction to some other man's fiancé. The simple structure of the song, coupled our lovely singer's amazing vocal timbre and his fingerpicked guitar make for a lovely melancholic ballad. I also enjoyed Sarah Minor, Charon, and Flesh and Bone—though I would recommend the whole album. You can watch other Keaton Henson videos here, but click on the album artwork above to watch the videos he helped make for every track on Dear.
tl;dr Cutter proves he's probably too attached to England, loves Keaton Henson's soft croonings and lively guitarwork, and generally has a good time trying to make you listen to good music.